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Local church turns to solar energy
by JENNIFFER WARDELL
Feb 07, 2016 | 7406 views | 0 0 comments | 134 134 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE CHURCH is planning to start the installation of the solar panels the first week in March.                                              Courtesy photo
THE CHURCH is planning to start the installation of the solar panels the first week in March. Courtesy photo
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CENTERVILLEThe Episcopal Church of the Resurrection is showing their love for God’s creations by going green. 

The church was recently awarded a grant by the Blue Sky Renewable Energy Program, which church leaders will use to install solar panels that will be able to provide the building with most of its energy. The church sought out the opportunity not only to cut energy costs, but also because leaders felt that the change would help them better follow church principles. 

“This is a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to demonstrate its commitment to stewardship of the Earth,” said Deborah Davidson, co-chair of the church’s solar project committee. “Our church will be ‘powered by God’ in more ways than one. It also helps us to actualize one of the five Marks of Mission of the Episcopal Church: to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.”

This project was made possible with funding support from Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky customers, who can sign up to donate a small, regular amount of money to support renewable energy projects. 

A member of the congregation mentioned the program to the church’s board of directors, stating that grants were available to churches, non-profits and even some businesses. After investigating, church leaders started the application process early last year. 

“We contacted other churches, and plenty of other congregations had already done this,” she said. “There were other Episcopal churches, Jewish synagogues, and even an LDS facility.”

The project will include the installation of 96 solar panels, adding up to a total project size of 26.400kW (kilowatts). According to Davidson, that will cover almost all of the church’s power needs.

Before it could happen, however, the church needed to make their own investment in the project.

“In the old days, the program would fund like 90 percent of the project, but that percentage has gone down,” she said. “In order to make this possible, the church is putting up 40 percent of the co-pay. One of the church’s foundational principles is that we’re good stewards of God’s creation, so we felt it was worth it.” 

Installation is slated to begin the first week in March, and the church plans on letting residents be as involved in the process as possible. There will likely be explanatory activities for kids, and people of all ages are welcome to come ask questions about the panels and the entire process.  

“It gives us an opportunity to do some outreach in the community,” said Davidson. “It will be a lab for the community to see how solar energy works.” 

Currently, the church plans to hold the dedication for the new solar panels on May 14 that everyone is welcome to attend. 

They also hold community dinners the third Wednesday of every month, where people are welcome to ask more questions. 

The church is located at 1131 S. Main Street in Centerville. For more information about Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky Program, visit rockymountainpower.net/env/bsre.html.

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