About the Project:

The Saint Stephen Lutheran Congregation of Silver Spring, “St. Stephen’s” has been serving the Silver Spring area since 1959 and is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Congregation of America. St. Stephen’s is installing 31.6 kW of solar PV energy on the roof of their Congregation Building located in Silver Spring, MD. This solar system will produce 35,447 kWh of clean, renewable solar energy throughout the first twelve months of use.

The solar PV, which will be installed by Solar Energy Services, will avoid the consumption of 662,735 kWh of energy not sourced from the local utility provider, mitigating 470 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 $10,122 over 20 years in reduced electricity bills for the church.

Financing Details

The project will be financed through a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Skyview Ventures and St. Stephen’s. The selected solar installer, 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 St. Stephen’s 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. Stephen’s 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 St. Stephen’s both economically and environmentally.

According to the project’s solar developer, Skyview Ventures, “If Montgomery County Green Bank did not help finance this project through their program, then it would not have been economical for the customer to build solar.”

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:

St. Stephen’s Congregation in Silver Spring, MD is a two-story building with 12,660 square feet of space located on New Hampshire Ave.

Property Upgrade Summary:

Installation of a 31.6 kW rooftop solar PV system by Solar Energy Services.

Loan Amount:

The loan from the Green Bank to Skyview Ventures totaled $53,480 towards a Commercial Solar Power Purchase Agreement.

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.