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jnail78
The main part of our church uses baseboard electric heat and accounts for the bulk of our electricity usage. The solar system will generate about 75% of our annual electricity. We lease the system so there was no up-front money required and our lease payment is about 10% less than what we would pay NStar for the same number of kwh. At the end of 10 years, we will buy the system at a depreciated cost and then have no further costs.

What You Need to Know

Description:

Our roof faces southeast and due to a line of pine trees along our property border and a large birch at the corner of the building, some panels get shade at certain times of the year and certain hours of the day. Sun Bug designed the system so these panels are on separate strings and don't impact the overall electricity production.

Other Benefits:

We hope it demonstrates to people driving by that solar is a practical technology today and that it encourages them to get solar for their homes.

Maintenance Requirements:

None anticipated for many years.

Efficiency or Sustainability Improvements:

In 2000 when we built an addition to the church for offices and meeting space, we installed a 95% efficient propane heating system. We are currently transitioning all our interior lighting to LED.

My Motivation:

As a faith community, we believe we have a moral responsibility to lower our carbon footprint and do what we can to address climate change. We owe it to those most affected by climate change and to future generations to decrease our energy use.

Advice:

You need to have patience with the process. There were some questions about the construction of our roof that we needed to research, then there is the interconnect approval process with the utility, and the approvals of the leasing company. It took far more time than we had hoped but eventually it all came together.

Experience with Installer:

Sun Bug Solar was excellent. Very careful about the installation and attentive to making sure the system didn't impact the aesthetics of the building, hiding the wiring and conduit effectively. They handled the interconnect process and kept us informed on a regular basis.

Additional Notes:

Relatively few installers and financers want to work with houses of worship for leases or PPAs. The offer created by Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light and the guidance they gave us made it possible.

Open House Info:

We welcome visitors between 10 - 2 on Saturday October 5. There is parking on site. The Dover Church across the street from us also has solar panels which you can see from our site. We're hoping they will join us and be part of the Green Building Open House as well!

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