About the Project:
With a history rooted in the education of children, the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Congregation (Bradley Hills Congregation) has been serving the Bethesda community since 1955. To assist with 90% of the congregation’s energy needs, Bradley Hills Congregation is installing 97 kW of solar PV energy on the roof, which will produce 112,708 kWh of clean, renewable solar energy throughout the first twelve months of use.
Over the next 20 years, the solar PV, which will be installed by Aurora Energy, will avoid the consumption of 2,153,018 kWh of energy not sourced from the local utility provider, mitigating 1,526 metric tons of carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas emissions. These energy savings will lead to a projected savings of $52,127 over 20 years in reduced electricity bills for the church.
The project will be financed through a 20-year power purchase agreement between Skyview Ventures and Bradley Hills Congregation. The Congregation signed a Power Purchase Agreement, or “PPA,” with the owner and developer of the solar system, Skyview Ventures. The selected solar installer, Aurora Energy, is under an Equipment, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) agreement with Skyview Ventures for the installation of the solar PV system.
Montgomery County Green Bank’s Role
The Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement (CSPPA) program developed by the Montgomery County Green Bank allowed Bradley Hills Congregation to install solar and experience the benefits of solar without upfront costs through a no-money-down rental agreement with Skyview Ventures. In this PPA, or rental agreement, Skyview Ventures pays for all maintenance and operations costs, while the Congregation only pays for the electricity produced by the solar system at a contracted price that is less than the current electricity costs from the utility provider.
According to the project’s solar developer, Skyview Ventures, “This favorable debt structure allowed us to reduce the PPA price, and the project would not have been economical if not for the Montgomery County Green Bank Program.”
The Montgomery County Green Bank has been working closely with Interfaith Power & Light on helping faith communities go solar. See ipldmv.org/solar for more resources from Interfaith Power & Light, including a map of existing faith communities with solar and a recording of an info session on solar for faith communities.