Posted by:


Large PV systems will require an internal champion.

What You Need to Know


The 47.5 kW 190 panel system, consists of LG all black 250 watt panels. Selection of most attractive panels in LG series was considered important to maintain visually attractive church buildings. Sudbury United Methodist Church is within the Historic District so the PV system required special approval. SUMC consists of several interconnected buildings including sanctuary, community hall, and classrooms; and the panels were placed on all of these. Only half of the sanctuary rooftop could be used to to Historic District restrictions. Each panel has a microinverter to maximize overall system performance. Converted power is fed through conduit in the attic spaces. The system has external shut off capability.

Other Benefits:

While sustainable clean energy is a natural consequence, there at at least two others that are compelling. The estimated 20 year cost savings is approximately $140,000 (2% NPV @ $110,000). In addition, the system aligns with the SUMC mission to be good stewards and is a visible testament to our neighbors.

Maintenance Requirements:

The system is very close to being operational. The PPA provider will maintain the system for us for the term of the agreement.

My Motivation:

Motivation was primarily to move to clean and sustainable energy. Being able to do so while at the same time saving money made it significantly easier to obtain buy-in from almost all decision making bodies and members.


1) Do it! 2) Take your time researching financial options and vendors. Use as many tools as possible to make the selection process more informed and objective. 3) For house of worship you need to find an internal "champion" who is willing to dedicate significant time/energy. 4) The process: initial consideration, champion identification, vendor interviews and proposals, internal selling, external permits, final internal approvals, final vendor selection, contract negotiation, installation scheduling and issues... will all take time, so set your expectations accordingly. 5) Identify main potential obstacles up front and focus on these from the beginning.

Experience with Installer:

Still not quite installed. So far pretty good. I will update this section and provide details when operational.

Additional Notes:

If system will require electric system updates by local utility, some part of the process will be beyond your control.

View Other Case Studies
South Church in Andover Solar PV System
South Church in Andover Solar PV System

House of Worship|Solar PV

annual savings
Power from Above -- Solar Photovoltaics on St. Dunstan's Church, Dover
annual savings
Search for Other Case Studies
EnergySage Marketplace
Get the best deal on solar.
Get Started