Joyce Bartels Memorial Solar Project
Over the past several years our church's Current Events group hosted a series of presentations on environmental concerns, especially regarding climate change, and on how, as Christians, we might best respond to them.
Convinced that one excellent way to do so is through the use of renewable energy, our team started reaching out to people who had come to those presentations to see if they might be interested in financially supporting a solar energy project for our church- support they could give without in any way diminishing the financial support they otherwise would give to our church's ministry.
That effort, which reached out to folks in and also beyond HCC, succeeded in gathering the $59,400 that was needed to put an array of solar panels on the south roof of our sanctuary. The array was designed to generate about two-thirds of the energy we use annually and will save us an estimated $3,000 a year in our energy costs. At its February 2017 meeting, our Church Council gave the final go-ahead to this project which we've called the Joyce Bartels Memorial Solar Project in honor of HCC's first and foremost environmental leader.
We happily held a Service of Blessing and Dedication of the project on Sunday April 23rd, 2017, the Second Sunday of Easter and the day after Earth Day. Almost exactly one month later on May 22nd the installation of our solar array was completed by our friends from Peninsula Solar. We eagerly awaited a final connection that needed to be made by our local power company, Consumers Energy. That was completed on June 15th so that we're now generating renewable energy from God's gift of the sun!
Our thanks again to all whose support brought this exciting project to final fruition.
SOLAR ENERGY LINKS
Links to the news coverage of our solar project:
News coverage of our 9/24/17 Solar Open House and Forum:
Technical information about modules:
The Joyce Bartels Memorial Solar Project involves an array of domestically-sourced monocrystalline Sunpower photovoltaic modules with maximal 20kW power rating, mounted in a southern exposure on the sanctuary roof. With expected annual production of 24,000 kWh of energy, the solar project is expected to cover two-thirds of the church’s annual electrical use, saving an estimated $3,000 in utility bills, and substantially cutting the church’s carbon footprint. The project was designed and built by Peninsula Solar of Marquette, MI.
Links to EPA information about climate change:
Assisting this project:
Our church was aided by Michigan Interfaith Power and Light, a non-profit organization helping houses of worship in Michigan. “We offer practical ways to put faith into action by promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other sustainable practices that lead to a cleaner, healthier, and more just world.”
We were also guided by the Meridian Energy Team, which supports energy conservation and promotes renewable energy in Meridian Township.
We were aided and inspired by our fellow United Church of Christ friends at Edgewood United Church in East Lansing, who dedicated their own solar project in early 2017. Ours are the first solar-powered churches in mid-Michigan.