Solar array installed at Stone Village church

First Universalist Parish in Chester has gone solar with a 16-panel array installed and connected to the power grid. Over the course of a year, the system is designed to generate enough solar electricity to meet the full electrical demands of the church, located in the Stone Village.

Solar array behind the First Universalist Parish.

Solar array behind the First Universalist Parish.

The solar array is located behind the church building with minimal visual impact from either the street or for neighbors, thus preserving the visual and aesthetics of the historic structure.

This project had its origins last year with the Climate Action Team, which hosted a book discussion group on Naomi Kline’s book This Changes Everything.

While tackling global climate change proved daunting, the group refocused their efforts in the late spring on what a church community could do to address concerns about rising CO2 levels. Two steps for immediate action were proposed to the Board of Trustees: eliminate fossil fuel companies from the portfolio of companies in the church’s endowment fund and switch to solar for electricity.

The divestment of fossil fuels companies was quickly approved and implemented. The solar project was approved by the board and referred to a vote of the full congregation. The solar proposal was presented to the congregation in June and unanimously approved. The cost was paid for by special contributions from 17 families in the church plus in-kind contributions of labor and equipment, all matched by a challenge grant from two congregants.

Dennis McPadden, a member of the congregation and a solar developer, oversaw the permitting, construction and connection to the grid. The project took four months from conceptualization to completion of construction.

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Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeIn the Community

About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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