- Team Lead
- Emily Drennen
- Team Lead LinkedIn Profile
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- Project / Program Description
The City of Ann Arbor and Michigan Interfaith Power and Light are working to recruit local houses of worship for new solar installations. The new solar would be “behind the meter” and would off-set at least 60% of a house of worship’s electricity use, with some of the solar acting as community solar subscriptions for members of that congregation. We will also use crowdfunding (donations and/or investments) to reduce costs. Using an innovative billing platform, we are able to provide community solar in a regulated state environment without virtual net metering.
- Project Updates
Summer 2017 We are currently deciding which financing methods we will use for our three pilot congregations. Seven congregations have already reached out to us to learn more about our program.
June 12, 2017 “Solar Faithful” Strives to Bring Solar Power to Local Houses of Worship
Sept/Oct 2017 The team has done on-site meetings with 5 congregations. Before the meetings, Solar Faithful team members analyze a congregation's electrical bills for estimated project size. We also use the PV watts tool to estimate roof-mounted and ground-mounted solar potential of the congregation's sites. Team members and congregational leaders talk about the congregation's motivations for going solar, what the congregation would need to do to approve a solar project, and the congregation's ability to raise financing internally. The Solar Faithful team is committed to having these on-site meetings with any congregation within Ann Arbor city limits that is interested in our project.
December 4, 2017 Solar powered chapel in Ann Arbor hosting open house and tour Representatives from nine local congregations attended a tour of Campus Chapel's solar installation. The Solar Faithful team also gave brief overviews of the four funding models that the team is interested in developing further.
December 18, 2017 As of today, 15 local congregations have expressed interest in our project. We are working with each congregation to assess solar readiness and solar potential.
February 15, 2018 Solar-powered chapel in Ann Arbor provides sustainable example for other houses of worship About six months after Campus Chapel put up its solar panels, congregation members heard about the Solar Faithful program and reached out to the city of Ann Arbor to share their story and see if they could inspire other houses of worship to undertake similar projects. Solar Faithful organizers set up an open house for December 2017, and about 40 people attended, asking questions about fundraising and implementation."We want to encourage other churches to follow through on their commitments to social justice and caring for the environment," Bouma says. Bob Chapman is the executive director of Michigan IPL, the local chapter of a national organization dedicated to promoting sustainable practices in houses of worship. He says that if the approximately 150 houses of worship in the greater Ann Arbor area all just took a few steps toward sustainability, it could make a big impact – the equivalent of not having to build a new power plant.Harnessing that potential was part of the impetus for partnering with Ann Arbor to form the Solar Faithful program, with goals that Chapman calls "pretty ambitious."
February 23, 2018 Solar Marketplace Event Takes Place March 11