In less than a year of planning, a simple idea sparked by a newspaper article led St. Luke Presbyterian Church to install 96 solar panels on its roof in October. This story begins with Lane Ayres, a member of the Sustainability Task Force of the church. She observed that federal tax credits and state grants would soon be available for businesses and nonprofits to install solar panels to provide their main source of energy, and, after her encouragement, St. Luke entered the lottery system and was selected for a grant from the state.
The panels are predicted to produce more than three-fourths of St. Luke’s yearly energy usage in tandem with an upgraded lighting system, and they have a lifespan of more than 30 years. During that time, the panels will offset approximately 1,125 tons of carbon dioxide. “We pride ourselves on being environmentally conscious,” says Ayres.