West Parish Church’s decision to install power generating solar panels is consistent with their goal to be a beacon of sustainability and live in harmony with the environment. In 2015, the church entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with Bright View Energy LLC that included design and installation of solar panels by Sunbug Solar and the purchase from Bright View of the solar generated power over a 15 year term, with an option to purchase the system beginning in year 7.
SunBug Solar designed and installed a photovoltaic system located on the Parish Hall Roof. The 21.84 kW solar array generates 26,300 kWh annually, nearly 56% of the West Parish Church Andover’s annual consumption. Power production over 30 years is estimated at 763,000 kWh. Web monitoring provides continuous monitoring of the system with 24-hour service response to any performance issues. The church has access to the website and is able to use it for community outreach and educational purposes. SunBug has worked with over 600 homeowners, houses of worship, schools and local businesses in Massachusetts and has a great deal of experience in Houses of Worship going solar. Its on-going Solar Power for Faith Communities program is done in partnership with Massachusetts Interfaith Power and Light, the state’s leading organization supporting energy efficiency for faith based organizations. Bright View Energy LLC is a family owned clean energy provider, enabling churches, other non-profit organizations and small scale commercial operations to reduce their carbon footprint and their energy costs.
The church announced in fall, 2015, plans to become one of the first churches in the nation to create a permaculture garden. “The West Parish Church permaculture garden will demonstrate our potential as a faith community to positively impact our world and the environment,” said the Rev. Mark Seifried, interim senior minister. “The garden will be a shining example of community and sustainability in the town of Andover, in the United Church of Christ and beyond.” The project will be under the guidance of Ryan Harb, a food system specialist, permaculture designer and 2008 Andover High School graduate. The article below describes more details about permaculture gardens.
News article: West Parish Church to build permaculture garden, Eagle-Tribune, Oct. 20, 2015
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