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Construction

Success!  We are converting photons into electrons on our roof! 

Faith in Place Press Release

UUCUC Press Release

Photo Credit: Johnny Robinson's boom cam

Photo Credit: Johnny Robinson's boom cam

Credit: Nick Yi and Cindy Shephard with Faith in Place

Meters:

We have two meters on our system.  The eGauge is in the building and shows total array generation in green and building use in red.   http://egauge34171.egaug.es/58863/

There is also a simplified kiosk view that shows three days at a time and the equivalent carbon offsets.  http://egauge34171.egaug.es/58863/kiosk2.html

 

The enphase display shows more information about the array itself and shows some energy over time information nicely.  

https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/pv/public_systems/Z4JV1211483/overview

 

 

Energize:

On March 29th, Ameren gave the OK to energize the system.  Our Ameren engineer was named Star, and by chance, her daughter even goes to the church.  She swapped our utility meter for one of the first new bi-directional "smart meters."  She said within a year new online tools will allow us to see more detail about use and generation.  Here is the team posing for a picture.  

Left: Ron (Ruyle Mechanical), Jason Hawksworth, Maya and Andy Robinson, Star (from Ameren), Cindy Shepard

Left: Ron (Ruyle Mechanical), Jason Hawksworth, Maya and Andy Robinson, Star (from Ameren), Cindy Shepard

IMG_3655.JPG

 

Day one: all that's required to hold the panels are these angle feet and cinder blocks. 

(click image for larger version)

Day two: placing the 81 panels.

Andy Robinson

Andy Robinson

Click on the image to scroll through a slideshow.

 

Below is the link to the WCIA weather webcam.

<iframe src="http://wmh1.wetmet.net/client-content/PlayerFrame.php?CAMERA=161-01-01&amp;CFVER=WM&amp;WIDTH=640&amp;HEIGHT=360" width="648" height="368" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">Loading Player...</iframe>

http://wmh1.wetmet.net/client-content/PlayerFrame.php?CAMERA=161-01-01&CFVER=WM&WIDTH=640&HEIGHT=360

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Fundraising

Fundraising for the project started in June.  First we identified some people who had expressed interest in the project and asked them to make a soft pledge so we could gauge interest.  By the time we went to the congregation for a vote, we already had about 25% of the funds needed.  

We called the project Roof+Solar since we also needed to replace the 25yo black rubber roof.  The new white TPO membrane covers the old roof as our 1990 insulation levels were high enough and in good shape.  The roof was installed in October 2016 by Sentry Roofing in Covington IN.  

Julie made a poster board with marks for the 90 estimated panels we needed to raise money for.  Fundraising only took about 6 weeks from start to finish.  

Here is our info sheet from the info sessions we had before the congregational vote. (Note some financial details have changed.)

 https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B78aCuFQ6biYQnlKcVBpMnFGRjg

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History

We started in Dec 2015 by hostng a solar for congregations info session with Jason Hawksworth and Faith in Place. 

We received bids from Jason Hawksworth and also Straight Up Solar.  Both were good, but Hawk Energy had a very compelling PPA (power purchase agreement) model already worked out with Ken and Steve Zika of Attollo philanthropic investors in Peoria.  A PPA is a way for the church to purchase the energy produced from a solar array on our roof, but not have to purchase the system or maintain it for the length of the contract.  An example is like having a copy machine that you don't own, but agree to pay so much per copy.  The trick is that churches don't pay federal tax, but the 30% solar tax credit can be used by investors who own the system for at least 6 years and can get accelerated depreciation.  We have also sold our first five years of renewable energy credits on the Illinois SREC auction market.  Note, we have been purchasing 100% wind RECs for our electricity already since 2013 and will continue to do so for the next five years. 

 

 

 

First Mennonite Church in Urbana 32 panel, 10 kW array

Jason also installed the array at First Mennonite down the street in 2014.  Here are some photos of that system and also their online tracking.

 

"The 9.44kW photovoltaic array was installed in June 2014. It reduces First Mennonite’s greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of planting 185 trees per year!

Not only does First Mennonite Church have a green building, sustainability is also interwoven as a way of being in life of the church. Two members of the congregation participated in the People’s Climate March last September in New York City with a delegation of other Mennonites. This past winter, Pastor Michael Crosby offered a creation care Sunday school class exploring what the Bible has to say about environmental devastation & ecology."

https://www.faithinplace.org/news/social-justice-and-solar-panels

Holly Nelson

Holly Nelson

Jason Hawksworth

Jason Hawksworth


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