More and more places of worship are going solar to promote environmental stewardship and enjoy financial savings. Religious organizations often look to lead positive change movements in their communities and putting solar on their roofs is a powerful way to publicly endorse clean energy and highlight its many benefits.
If you are interested in helping your place of worship or community center go solar in 2014, get Mosaic’s free resource guides to “Put Solar On It” in 2014.
Sacred Heart Church and School – Prescott, AZ
On September 12, one of the oldest churches in the Diocese of Phoenix, the Sacred Heart Church and School, installed two PV solar systems totaling 160 kW in Prescott, Arizona. This system is projected to help the church save as much as $40,000 annually on utilities. The 100 kW system will help power the church’s 2000-seat parish. The project focused on environmental stewardship while finding a way to create financial savings.
Temple Beth El Synagogue – Stamford, CT
Earlier this year, Temple Beth El Synagogue not only became one of the largest houses of worship with a solar roof in the state, but in the country for that matter. With the installation of 845 solar PV panels, the system will produce roughly 70% of Temple Beth El’s annual electricity needs and save about $31,000 on their energy bill. The solar PV system will also help reduce the synagogue’s carbon footprint by over 100,000 lbs. of CO2 a year and promote environmental stewardship.
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church – Greenport, NY
Following the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, many communities in the Northeast needed rebuilding. St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Greenport, New York, needed to replace their roof following the storm; however, they decided to do so with the power of the Sun. The church installed 100 solar panels on their church, making it 100% run by solar power. The project will significantly reduce the church’s utility bill, carbon footprint, and help them become good environmental stewards.
Cherokee Park United Church – St. Paul, MN
In 2012, Cherokee Park United Church of St. Paul, Minnesota, saw an opportunity to not only support their stewardship on this Earth but to support the solar industry in the State of Minnesota. Their 21 kW system might seem on the small side, but the panels are manufactured in their home state of Minnesota. Becoming only the second church in Minnesota to install solar power, their panels will end up generating 125% of the their energy needs.
Poh Ern Shih Buddhist Temple – Singapore
With over 2,000 followers, Poh Ern Shih Temple in Singapore took advantage of their abundant solar resource and became the first religious institution in the country to incorporate eco-friendly measures into the design. Poh Ern Shih Temple not only uses solar PV to meet 25% of their electricity needs, but the Buddhist temple also uses solar power to provide hot water for the building. The temple was hoping to use these solar technologies to reduce their reliance on exhaustible fuel resources.
The Vatican – Vatican City
Not only is solar becoming popular among smaller churches, but it is even utilized by the heart of the Catholic Church. Atop the Vatican’s Paul VI audience hall are over 2,400 solar PV panels, creating enough energy to power all the heating, cooling, and electricity needs for the 6,300 seat building. This will also help the Vatican reach its commitment to incorporate 20% renewable energy resources for energy needs by 2020.
- Learn how to Put Solar on Your Church.
- Listen to Mosaic President Billy Parish on the financial opportunity in solar.
- Check out the top 10 developments in clean energy of 2013.
- What is Community Solar?
John Steller is an MS candidate studying Climate Science and Solutions at Northern Arizona University. During his time at NAU, John has worked on climate change communication and greenhouse gas inventory projects for the University and Flagstaff community. Prior to his graduate education, he received his undergraduate degree in Environmental Geology from Murray State University. John enjoys trivia nights, baseball, and his never ending pursuit for the world’s best orange cream milkshake.