The Care for Creation group of the St Francis of Assisi Parish in Pamplona (Navarra) was set up in 2018. We were motivated by the publication of “LAUDATO SI” in 2015; the celebration of the Franciscan Week on the theme in March 2016; the existence of the “Social Reception Group” with a long history and parish dynamism; the previous work carried out by the “Grupo de Decrecimiento”, etc.
Since we started in 2018, there have been many activities carried out. (Earth Day celebrations: vigils, Eucharist, prayers, talks, workshops, film forum, Laudato Si’ week, exhibitions on the Amazon, “A year of life with a tree in the neighbourhood”, a monthly challenge for the “Care of creation”, campaigns to reduce the use of plastic, etc.). One of them is the parish energy self-sufficiency project that we would now like to share. We started it in 2019, but the pandemic hit us, and everything was put on hold until 2021.
This project wanted to equip the Parish of St Francis of Assisi and the friary of St Francis with a photovoltaic solar plant for collective self-sufficiency, thus reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and increasing the possibility of saving on energy bills.
To this end, municipal grants are available to promote self-supporting photovoltaic installations in the city; grants we have been able to access (€4,000, almost 50% of the project’s total cost) after a great deal of bureaucratic red tape.
The friary is located in the four apartments of the first floor of a 16-storey block of flats, and the parish church is underground. The fraternity, at present, is made up of five friars who live in the three apartments, where Apartment A is directly connected to the Parish, and the fourth apartment D is on loan to the diocesan Caritas for its housing programme for migrant families in vulnerable situations.
The 3.6 kWp solar plant, for collective self-sufficiency, has been installed on the shared terrace. But it is only for the use of the friary, of the building where the five supplies are located. The Parish and the four apartments of the friary benefit from this when it comes to producing energy for self-consumption. This means that we now have production and self-consumption of energy from renewable sources.