The future’s so bright, they’ve gotta wear shades! Imagine being able to supply all the power your three-building church campus needs plus more AND leading the way in environmental stewardship at the same time! That’s exactly what Union Cross Moravian Church has been able to do with their solar array.
The return on the investment is sound. The total cost of project after rebate and end of 5-year lease purchase payment will be approximately $20,000. This is considering the annual 5-year lease payments are less than the previous annual energy bills. After 5 years, the church will receive free energy for the remainder of the life of the system, which is estimated at 25-30 years. The church’s energy bill budget line item was $9,000 to $10,000 before the array. And those costs have disappeared.
Last year the array produced 96,200 kWh of energy. Union Cross’ church, recreation center, and thrift store are supplied energy by the solar system, and because the array produces more energy than the church consumes, the excess energy becomes available to the regional power grid. Now that’s a new way to love your neighbors!
And there are grants available to make the ROI even better. Union Cross Moravian Church received a $1,000 grant from the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA) Environmental Stewardship Field of Interest Fund.
But while the energy cost savings is nice, it’s the environmental impact that impresses grant applicant Dan Johnson most. “We are eliminating 60 tons of carbon dioxide/year by using the solar array,” Johnson said. “That’s equivalent to a football field piled 20 ft. high.”
Each of the 12 large panels that make up the solar array is made up of 12 smaller individual panels. The life expectancy of the array is estimated to be about 30 years. It’s under warranty for 25 – meaning the solar array at Union Cross will be a shining star for many years to come.