Environmental Responsibility & Laudato Si
Combined Heat and Power
Since 1905, FSPA has utilized district heating. The community’s district heating plant generates steam to heat over one million square feet in St. Rose Convent, Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare and Viterbo University. Through district heating, FSPA is realizing its goals — reducing operation and maintenance costs as well as emissions.
Generally, as high pressure steam is distributed to each facility, the steam pressure is decreased with a mechanical pressure reducing valve. By reducing the high pressure steam at the district heating plant through the steam-driven turbine generators, electricity is produced and low pressure steam is generated to heat the buildings. This process is called Combined Heat and Power (CHP).
The two small steam-driven turbine generators can run 24 hours a day and produce about 40 percent of the average annual electricity used by FSPA. The goals for installing this technology go beyond actual cost savings and emission reduction. Steam plant tours demonstrate district heat and CHP to groups of professionals, building operators and the general public, encouraging others to utilize combined heat and power in their facilities.
"On behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Combined Heat and Power Partnership, I am pleased to provide you with your organization’s 2019 CHP Partner Certificate," writes Matt Clouse of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "The certificate documents the estimated 2019 carbon dioxide reductions, expressed in metric tons, attributed to your CHP projects and the equivalent emissions from the generation of electricity used by U.S. homes. This estimate is calculated by comparing the emissions associated with each CHP system's output to the combined emissions from equivalent amounts of conventional energy sources (i.e., grid electricity and on-site thermal generation)."
Energy Management System
FSPA also uses a computerized energy management system that operates air handlers and chillers for cooling St. Rose. Peak electrical demand is monitored and the steam plant operator has the ability to change various equipment schedules while maintaining a reasonable building comfort level. Lower building temperatures during the heating season, humidity control during the cooling season and the ability to remotely regulate unoccupied lighting and ventilation levels on a day to day basis all contribute to energy use reduction.
- Pope on climate crisis: Time is running out, decisive action needed
FSPA offered offset travel to fall gathering, 2020.
Life on land and life below water
Cry of the Earth. Cry of the Poor. This statement encapsulates the Amazon Synod held in October. During the Amazon Synod, bishops from around the world gathered to consider the dire ecological needs of the Amazon region and its people. Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration joined other religious congregations around the world to create symbolic spaces — global tent.