In 2012 we made a major step toward a sustainable future by installing 438 solar panels on our grounds and buildings. Our solar energy installation is now complete and is expected to reduce the church's electric bill by 95%.
In keeping with one of our main principles, "respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part," solar energy reduces our carbon footprint and proves our commitment to the environment.
About two years ago, the Solar Energy Task Force was convened to look at various forms of solar installations; last spring the congregation voted to move forward. Led by Greg Newcomer, church members Ken Slight, Lee Phillips and Bill Skinner worked with long-time Grounds Chair, Ken Arnold, to fulfill the project goals.
Powell Energy and Solar, a Moorestown, NJ solar EPC and PPA provider, was selected from several bidders to provide the 102.9KW system under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The system is 75% ground-mounted and 25% roof-mounted.
As a congregation that makes our own decisions using the democratic process, we needed to consider many needs and uses of the property. One debate surrounded the possible removal of a very prominent old Cherry tree on the property near King's Highway. Powell Energy worked harmoniously with the Solar Task Force to keep the tree and minimize impact on the property, which includes many curated and rare species of plants. Rev. Manish held a farewell ceremony for the 3 pine trees that had to be removed.