It has been quite a journey, but thanks to the vision and leadership of Rev. Joe Hoffman, a member of the Council’s Governing Board, First Congregational United Church of Christ in Asheville is the first success story of hopefully many more, as North Carolina Interfaith Power and Light (NC IPL) works to facilitate solar electric projects on church properties.
In the summer of 2010, NC IPL began a pilot project with Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy (AIRE) to help develop their community based financing model for use by faith communities. We invited six congregations to a workshop in Asheville to explain the model that AIRE had developed, and First Congregational Church was the first to commit to working with us.
On March 9th, the installation was completed of a 10 KW photovoltaic system. You can read the story, Asheville Church Puts Faith in Solar Power, which appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times . Hook-up to the electric grid will occur soon, and the Church will hold a Solarbration dedication ceremony on April 3rd.
The model that First Congregational Church adopted for their project is one of three financing models now being used in North Carolina. To learn more about options for your congregations, I invite you to contact NC IPL directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With hopes for more success stories in 2011,
— Richard Fireman, Public Policy Coordinator, NC IPL