A New Group In West Virginia Is Helping Nonprofits Get Solar Panels For Only $1
The Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church has become the site of West Virginia’s largest community supported solar system. 60 solar panels were installed on the churches roof by a local group called Solar Holler for only $1.
Solar Holler is a nonprofit organization based in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The solar project at the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church is the model for Solar Holler’s goal of bringing solar energy to West Virginia’s nonprofit churches, municipalities, and affordable housing organizations.
In order to fund the church’s solar panels 100 Sheperdstown families agreed to install demand response controllers from Maryland’s Mosiac Power on their water heaters. Mosiac Power installs the controllers for free and when a netork of heaters have the controller installed they literally create a ‘virtual power plant.'
Mosiac sells the electricity created by the water heaters network to the grid. Then Mosiac pays the families that put in the controllers $100 out of the money earned from the electricity.
The families in Sheperdstown who received $100 put the money towards the churches solar panels. The solar panels installed will create half of the power the church uses in one year.
Solar Holler founder, Dan Conant, told local media that, “It wasn’t hard to convince members of the community to install the controllers, or to have them donate the money they earned from it. Most of the people who installed the controllers were church members and they wanted to see their church get its solar system. This is a really really cool community, and this actually wasn’t a hard sell at all. From their perspective, they’re helping make this really cool, cutting edge project happen, and they didn’t have to write a check. We actually didn’t take any donations at all, for the entire system — it was just through Mosaic controllers that we raised all the funding we needed.” For more on Conant’s nonprofit visit: http://www.solarholler.com
Members of the church wanted the church to get the economical benefits solar panels bring and also reap the environmental benefits as well.
Conant hopes that the newly finished church project will be one of many crowd-funded solar installations in West Virginia for nonprofit organizations. A second installation is all ready planned in Harpers Ferry at the Bolivar-Harpers Ferry Library. Six more projects are lined up after the library. Conant hopes to see projects in all of West Virginia’s 55 counties in the next five years.
About Tammy Marie Rose
Tammy Marie Rose is an author, blogger, freelance writer and Earth Warrior! She has over ten years professional writing experience in environmental fields.