A Year of Clean Energy

February 17, 2012
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To The Editor:

The Red Bank United Methodist congregation recently celebrated a first year anniversary of a new solar power system. This system was dedicated in January 2011 as a component of the Green Faith certification commitment to greening property and reducing energy and inviting congregation families to join in this commitment. The Red Bank church was the first United Methodist church to enter Green Faith’s certification process and the first church in Red Bank to complete a solar installation. At this time the First Baptist Church of Red Bank has gone solar, and the First Presbyterian Church at Tower Hill is in the process. Red Bank UMC is delighted to serve as an environmental leader in clean energy in the community of Red Bank and in the state.

The proposal to install solar panels on the roof of the 100-year-old church building really appealed to the congregation, as an energy as well as cost saving project. Seven church members formed a partnership, calling itself “Hudson Solar Power Partnership.” This partnership provided the funding for preparation, roof work, and panel installation.

In this first year approximately 60 megawatt hours were produced by the 205 photovoltaic panel system, which saved 43.3 tons of CO2 emissions, equivalent to removing eight-and-a-half cars per year from the roads of the U.S. Another way to measure savings is that the church did not use 100 barrels of oil!!!
This project is just one congregation in one big old building, trying to be good stewards of the planet.

For more information go to umcredbank.org and click on the link solar panel status. It is all very exciting, and the panels, which can be viewed from the parking lot, are attracting attention in town. At a recent Red Bank Environmental Committee meeting plans were made for a big Earth Day event on April 22, 2012, and the church will participate. By sharing the story of its path to solar energy, Red Bank Green Team will encourage other congregations and institutions to consider green energy alternatives.

For more information on green certification go to www.greenfaith.org. – an international interfaith organization based in New Jersey, under the leadership of Green Faith’s Founder and Director, Rev. Fletcher Harper.

Janie Schildge
Chair, Green Faith Team
UMC Red Bank

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