May 2017 Update: Since May 1, 2012, North Church and the sun, working together, have produced 136,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity. This energy is fed into the electric grid year around. How much energy is this? Enough to provide about 60% of the church’s electricity, as we expected.
Together we’ve saved 95 tons of climate destroying carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting 3700 trees. We’ve now learned that fracked natural gas has been leaking methane at the wellhead, which is a potent greenhouse gas, so the clean electricity we produce avoids some of that, too.
We’ve saved money, too, a few thousand dollars each of the first several years, $1000 this year (after lease payments) because the price of electricity is down, now that natural gas is cheaper. The point of the panels was never money but climate justice. None of us want to leave the world more damaged than we found it.
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world and those who live in it. At the creation God saw all that God had made and declared it good. And God gave humans the responsibility to care for and cultivate God’s good garden.
But our appetite for energy has driven us to exploit and decimate our home through careless extraction, wars over resources, and destruction of ecosystems. How can we help to heal God’s good earth? How can we begin to correct the wrongs we’ve committed? By creating technologies to harness the energy of wind and sun and other renewable resources.
We respond to the need to preserve and protect God’s good creation by installing two solar panel arrays. Thanks be to you, O God, for this good earth you have made our home and will one day make your home among us. Amen.
Adapted from dedication ceremony held April 29, 2012
Photo Credit: Colin Drury