Parish House Solar Panel Update (November 2019)

The Parish House Solar PV panels and associated wiring and utility interconnection equipment were installed starting in late October and finished in early November. It is not yet operating since inspections are required by the Town first and then the power company. The Town has signed off and we are expecting Eversource to inspect and provide their electric meters by early December. In total we have almost 20 kilowatts of PV panels that should provide over 20,000 kWh of electricity to the Parish House each year, taking into account a 20% reduction due to shading from the Parish House to the east, from a tree to the south and from likely snow covering the panels following winter storms. We expect the electricity savings to the First Parish in the first year will be about $4,500, with the savings increasing in future years owing to likely increases in power costs. In addition, we will receive about $2,500 per year in incentives from the Solar Massachusetts Renewables Target (SMART) program. With about one pound of CO2 released into the atmosphere for every kWh produced using natural gas (the predominant fossil fuel using the New England power plants), our solar panels will be reducing carbon emissions by over 20,000 pounds annually.

BlueSel Home Solar of Sandwich, MA did the installation using very high efficiency solar panels made by SunPower Corporation and DC-to-AC inverters from SolarEdge. The cost was about $55,000, of which 80% was sponsored by community members. Beginning with the month of January 2020 we will report the actual and expected monthly solar electric generation from the panels alongside the monthly electricity usage by the Church. If our future use of electricity continues about the same, the weather (sunny days) is about average, and the solar panels perform as expected, on an annual basis we will produce as much electricity as we consume in the Parish House. We will celebrate the completion of the solar project as well as other FPL Green initiatives on Climate Sunday, January 12, 2020.