Sustainability and the YMCA: Brazilian branch launches photovoltaic power plant

YMCA Rio Grande do Sul (Associação Cristã de Moços do Rio Grande do Sul – ACM-RS) is building the largest photovoltaic power plant in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The works have already started and should be completed in the first half of 2021. The objective is to supply the seven YMCA branches in the state capital with solar energy – a renewable, clean, and sustainable option.

Sustainability is one of the core values and operational priorities of the 120-year ACM-RS. Channelling young people’s commitment to climate justice and sustainability is also one of the four work axes of the global YMCA Movement in 120 countries, and this is a regional project.

The project consists of the installation  of 7,000 m² of solar energy panels, filling the rooftop of the eight buildings of the João XXIII Ecumenical Cemetery (Av. Natal, nº 60, Medianeira – Porto Alegre, BR), owned and managed by the institution. “In the capital, there isn’t a photovoltaic power plant as large as this, whether public or private,” says project engineer Marcus Purper.

Daniela Colussi, President of the ACM-RS, , says investing in renewable sources of energy is a trend for the future in all spheres of our society. “Our objective is to contribute to the preservation of the environment, and create a positive impact for future generations. We want the ACM-RS to be an example of sustainability, as an institution that inspires people to see the environment not only from the financial and economic point of view, but also from their preservation”.

The plant has a 1-megawatt power peak and is capable of producing up to 110 megawatts per month. It will supply green energy to a variety of sites, including the João XXIII Ecumenical Cemetery (where the panels will be installed), a school (Colégio ACM), a technical courses branch (ACM Rua da Praia), a sports complex (ACM Esportes Centro), and three outreach centers (ACM Vila Restinga Olímpica, ACM Cruzeiro, and ACM Morro Santana) that will benefit more than 1,500 families.

The ACM-RS CEO, Mr. José Ricardo Calza Caporal emphasizes the financial and social impact of the initiative. “One of our secrets as a non-profit organization is constant innovation in the search for sustainability When we talk about clean energy, we are talking about a union between social and economic responsibility”.

National YMCAs worldwide are working on environment related issue, and YMCA worldwide runs 2,400 programmes on environment related issues, involving and reaching some 232,000 people. See our work in the field of the Environment.

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