National Grid replaced our basement electric meter and put our photovoltaic panels on line on Tuesday, May 1. In the next two weeks, we generated 1904 kW of electricity and fed it into the grid. That’s enough electricity for seven average households. At this time of year, it is more than we use at the church, so our basement meter runs backward and reads a negative number. (The basement meter is the one that the power company reads.) Of course, the output won’t be as spectacular in winter when the days get short.
Those of us who don’t get bored watching the outdoor meter spin round and round are aware that we produce some electricity even on cloudy days, but lots more on sunny days. The outdoor meter, located outside the Dickinson room, shows the total amount of electricity we have produced since startup. This summer, when days are hot and air-conditioners are running, every bit of extra power contributed to the grid will help to avoid brownouts.
We are pleased that we coordinated our efforts with those of Presbyterian Senior Services of Western New York and jointly dedicated our systems on April 29. Each of the three buildings behind us at Presbyterian Village now has as many panels as we have; in other words, the Village will have nearly three times our output of sustainable energy. Their three leases will reduce the cost of heating and lighting the community rooms.
The church’s Earth Care team is delighted with all this, and we hope that you are, too! We expect to save money toward the church’s ministries. More importantly, we are expressing our gratitude to God for God’s good creation and our best intentions to care for it as good stewards. Read more about our Solar Church story.