St. Nicholas Episcopal Church is part of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington which includes Episcopal Churches in the District of Columbia, as well as Prince George’s, Charles, St. Mary’s and Montgomery Counties. St. Nicholas was initially organized as a mission to serve the Darnestown – North Potomac, MD area in 1991.
St. Nicholas’ Church is installing 44.5 kW of solar PV energy on the roof, which will produce 53,909 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 Lumina Solar, will avoid the consumption of 1,078,180 kWh of energy not sourced from the local utility provider, mitigating 764 metric tons of carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas emissions. These energy savings will lead to a projected savings of $10,800 over 20 years in reduced electricity bills for the building.
The solar project will be financed through a 20-year power purchase agreement between Skyview Ventures and St. Nicholas’ Church.
The Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement (CSPPA) program developed by the Montgomery County Green Bank allowed St. Nicholas’ Church 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 St. Nicholas’ Church 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.
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.