Brevard-Davidson River Presbyterian Church won the Cool Congregations Renewable Role Model Award for their solar installation. An aging congregation, they initially made big plans for a large installation, but the cost was too prohibitive, so they scaled back to a 20kW “pilot project” designed by students at the Advanced Energy Program at Appalachian State University as an educational project which significantly cut the cost for the church. The system provides 35% of the electricity for their main building, saving them $3,000 annually in energy costs, and preventing 28 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.
Environmentalists in the congregation love the carbon savings, conservatives love the cost savings, missioners love $3000 a year to reallocate and the youth- oriented love providing college students with an opportunity to design a real world system.They have inspired several other nonprofits and churches to go solar with presentations on their system to the Sierra Club and Presbytery meetings.
Just six months into the pilot project there is such strong support from church members that they are applying for a permit to expand to a system large enough to supply all the electrical needs of their main building and exploring plans to solarize the entire church campus. IPL is proud to award a congregation that creatively overcomes obstacles, engages others in achieving their goals, and inspires others to follow suit.