A Mendon church’s power will now come from on high.
The Bethany Community Church recently installed solar panels in an effort to be more environmentally friendly.
Pastor Phil McCutchen said the church decided to look to solar for several reasons.
“It’s really twofold,” he said. “Being stewards of the environment is really important to us and also, of course, it saves money.”
Steve Bianchi, of the Hopkinton firm Solect Energy, was involved in the installation. He said the church now has a 180 kilowatt system.
“We designed the system so it can take care of 100 percent of the electric needs of the church,” he said. “It actually does just a little more, so we can do what’s called ‘net metering.'”
Bianchi said installation went very smoothly.
“It went up rather well,” he said. “The church has a beautiful southern exposure, so we just had to trim a few trees, and it came out really nice.”
According to McCutchen, the system went online on Sept. 4.
“It’s been wonderful so far,” he said. “Our electric bill has been cut nearly in half.”
“We’re pretty excited,” he said. “Our bill went from $2,400 to $1,200.”
McCutchen said the typical visitor to the church might not even be aware of the panels.
“You can’t see the panels from the ground, so you don’t really notice any change,” he said.
“Hopefully, they’ll notice next fall, when we review our financial statement.”
The system, Bianchi said, went up as part of a power purchase agreement, in which the solar generating equipment is owned by an outside company, and the church gets a reduced power rate.
“The church didn’t have to pay for the solar system at all,” he said.
Bianchi said the church could expect to see a 40 percent reduction, on average, on its electric bill.
“The beauty is that they can use the money they saved on things like ministry work,” he said.
Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-634-7546 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Milford Daily News (http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x1890066643/Mendon-church-goes-solar#ixzz2Afu0d11I)