Southside goes solar: Murdoch Center to install Solar Mosaic project
The Southside Community Association (SCA) of Flagstaff has partnered with Solar Mosaic in a project to convert solar energy on the roof of Murdoch Community Center’s (MCC.) Going solar will help the MCC sustain its numerous programs and events for the community, as well as save $80,000 in resource costs over a span of 20 years.
Deb Harris, board president of the SCA, said the project’s main purposes are to refrain from depleting the earth’s resources and lessen their financial costs.
“The solar panel project is designed to reduce our footprint on our resources,” Harris said. “But it’s also designed to provide us with some income, because we’re leasing [the building.] It’s just not about the solar panels – it’s a whole way of thinking about how we improve the quality of life for people in this community [and] in Flagstaff in general. It’s a huge step.”
Harris also said she is excited to see the project contribute to Flagstaff’s sustainability efforts, bringing NAU students and residents of the Southside community together for an important cause.
“The building and the association sit in the south side and NAU sits in the south side. We are just naturally tied together,” Harris said.
Solar Mosaic is an online company used to create solar projects financed by community members.
Billy Parish, co-founder of Solar Mosaic, said the organization looks for non-profit organizations within a community where people can take part in financing the project. He wants the community to join together in this project in an evident way, which will be recognized on the mosaic.
“I’d like to think of how different our country would look if there were millions of people who were tangibly invested in the clean energy economy,” Parish said. “We are going to develop a mosaic plaque that will have the names of people who bought tiles in the project.”
The funding of this project will come from the sale of 200 tiles. Any person or group can buy a tile for $100, and will see a return on their investment over time as it reduces energy costs.
Harris said by purchasing a tile, students have a chance to leave their mark on the community. She said the same goes for student organizations, which will ultimately be supporting future students.
“It would be a great opportunity for a student group to do a lasting legacy,” Harris said. “They could purchase a tile and that money could go back to their student group every year.”
Parish said solar rooftop projects are one of Solar Mosaic’s passions, and the MCC is an ideal place to create this dream, because it serves as a centerpiece of the Flagstaff community.