Trinity Church is an 80 year old classical cathedral style building. Though we have done several energy audits to try to reduce our carbon footprint, and had had some success, but we still found far too much energy was being consumed. It was a burden to the church budget and a burden to our environment. We decided to pursue a grant from Nevada Energy (our local power company) to assist the funding of a solar installation on the roof of our parish hall.
We contacted a solar contractor (Hamilton Solar) who helped us with the grant proposal and the design of a system that maximized the potential for our available roof area (as well as the eventual installation). We were awarded a five-dollar per watt grant and moved ahead on the installation of a 30,000 watt (30kW) system using the highest efficiency panels available on the market. The system cost approximately 200,000 dollars (including some structural work to reinforce the very old parish hall building roof). Our portion of the costs was a little over 50,000 dollars.
The system was then connected by trench to the main church building, which is the greater energy consumer of the campus. It will offset approximately 85% of our church’s electrical use and we should recover our investment in around 5 years. The system went “on line” in early August 2011. We are proud of our stewardship of both our own and the Earth’s resources. The attached photo shows the installation from above.