Catholic Climate Covenant
At a Glance
Clean and Renewable Energy
James Wayne created a mapping tool to identify potential utility scale solar projects on Catholic land in the US.
The Catholic Climate Covenant (CCC) and their partner organization Catholic Energies (CE) are working to expand the use of solar power on Catholic lands. The Catholic Church is one of the largest land-owners in the world, and using land for solar generation can lower operating costs and generate income for financially fragile Catholic entities.To start this process, CE brought on James Wayne to analyze and map parcels that fit a wide range of criteria.
James focused on three projects to facilitate CCC and CE goals.
● Create a formula of criteria for utility scale solar. Catholic lands are in almost every county of the United States. James determined which areas to prioritize. By analyzing data from multiple sources and tailoring recommendations to specific projects, James pinpointed benefits and challenges of developing solar around the country.
● Map catholic land in priority areas. Utilizing GIS software, publicly available datasets, and key metrics determined by CE, James developed a replicable system to map Catholic land suitable for solar power.
● Create climate and solar power educational tools for organizations working with CE. This resource could easily be included with church communication to start conversations about climate change and Catholicism.
In the process of creating the GIS system, James mapped over 10,000 Catholic parcels of land in 9 states and found thousands of acres primed for utility scale solar power development.
As a result, negotiations can begin with the owners to create long term, reliable income while also providing clean, renewable energy to the surrounding area. This, coupled with educational material, can serve as an excellent learning device for countless parishioners across the country on the impacts of climate change and the benefits of fighting it.