MILPITAS, Calif. — The Jain Center of Northern California inaugurated its new solar panel system with a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by Jose Esteves, mayor of Milpitas, and a sumptuous Jain lunch May 30 in a larger effort toward going green.
“This is a historic day as we take another step in going green,” Bipin Shah, chairman of JCNC, told the crowd of more than 500. “Going solar, at the core of it, is showing compassion to Mother Earth. We had been thinking about getting this project done for quite some time and it gives me great pleasure to see our dream realized.”
The new solar system, which was designed and installed by Staten Solar of San Jose, is a 54-kilowatt DC, carport-mounted system that will produce enough electricity to offset the entire consumption of the temple.
The system was installed on top of carports constructed as part of the project, which also provide covered parking for the community and a covered space for holding certain outdoor events.
The event was also supported by the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council, a coalition that builds interreligious harmony and understanding in Silicon Valley.
“SiVIC is proud to have joined hands with Compassion Games International in their Solar Initiative to help sun up our sanctuaries,” said Girish Shah, treasurer of SiVIC. “Going solar will not only save (the) financial resources of the sanctuary, but also be a compassionate act toward Mother Earth. The Jain Center solar project will be a shining example of such an effort for all sanctuaries in the Silicon Valley.”
Kamlesh Mehta, president of JCNC, explained at the event that the system needed to meet several objectives, including being installed with “zero money down” and having a monthly payment lower than the existing electricity bill.
“We are glad to have partnered with Staten Solar who achieved all of the above objectives, while demonstrating a Silicon-Valley style of professional management for the project,” Mehta said.
Several representatives of Staten Solar also attended the event and answered questions on various aspects of the project.
“We feel very fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to serve the JCNC community by constructing and financing this project,” said Sandipan Bhanot, chairman and managing director of Staten Solar. “The system uses the best that the world has to offer and should serve JCNC for many decades to come. Solar power is now cheaper than the grid power, and we invite everyone to give us a chance to show them the details.”
“Jainism is about safeguarding nature and our roots by acting responsibly, something that we strive to do every day. That is why we have implemented a solar panel system in our temple,” stated a press release from JCNC.