About the Project:

Epworth United Methodist Congregation of Gaithersburg, MD is installing 117.9kW of solar PV energy on the roof of their church to produce over 139,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy throughout the first twelve months of use.

Epworth is a multicultural and multilingual United Methodist Congregation made up of members that look to reduce the church’s environmental impact. The project was mentioned in the Washington Post article found here.

Over the next 20 years, the solar PV installed by Solar Energy Services will avoid the consumption of 2,651,907 kWh of energy not sourced from the local utility provider, mitigating 1,879 metric tons of carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas emissions, over the span of the first 20 years of the life of the solar system. These energy savings will lead to a projected savings of $121,027.14 over 20 years in reduced electricity bills for the church.

Financing Details

The total project cost will be financed through a 20-year power purchase agreement between Skyview Ventures and Epworth United Methodist Congregation. Epworth United Methodist Congregation is the Power Purchase Agreement, “PPA,” signer with the owner of the solar system, Skyview Ventures. The selected contractor, Solar Energy Services, 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 Epworth to install solar and experience the benefits of solar with no out-of-pocket 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 church only pays for the electricity produced by the solar system at a contracted price that is lower than what they are paying now for electricity, making the project a complete benefit for the church both economically and environmentally.

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.

Project Snapshot

Building Type:

The Epworth United Methodist Congregation building is over 14,000 square feet and is located on almost five acres of land in southern Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Property Upgrade Summary:

Installation of a 117.9kW rooftop solar PV system by Solar Energy Services.

Loan Amount:

The loan from the Green Bank to Skyview Ventures totaled $183,540 towards a Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement (“CSPPA”).

The CSPPA program allows building owners to experience the benefits of solar energy with no out-of-pocket costs and without the burden of owning and maintaining a solar PV system.