St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul, deepened its commitment this week to being an Earthwise congregation by bringing a 39.6 KW solar array on line. The $216,000 project involved no upfront cost to the congregation. Instead, federal and state tax credits, and an Xcel Energy rebate flow through the congregation to a solar leaser who funded the project’s construction. The solar leaser also receives the value of about two-thirds of the solar energy produced for five years at which time the congregation has the option of ending the lease. Said the church’s business manager, Jeff Palmer, “This has been a win-win-win project: With no upfront cost, we have re-committed ourselves to Earthwise values and reduce the congregation’s electric bill. How can you beat that?”
Word of the congregation’s experiment in solar energy has spread. Last week a film crew for Al Gore’s endeavor, “24 HOURS OF REALITY: 24 REASONS FOR HOPE,” were on the church’s roof filming the new solar array for possible inclusion in the September 16-17th live streamed multi-media show highlighting 24 reasons to be hopeful about our future and positive steps underway to end human contribution to climate change.
Congregations interested in learning more about St. Paul’s UCC solar project are encourage to call Rev. Palmer at the church.