Church turns to sun for energy

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Courtesy Altenergy Solar

A local church is now using solar panels for its electrical source.

Altenergy Solar installed 124 solar modules on the rooftop of Calvin Christian Reformed Church, located at 700 Ethel Ave. SE in Grand Rapids.

“We knew this was a steep roof and game-planned for a few weeks,” said Chad Becker, Altenergy’s branch manager in Grand Rapids. “Of course, planning is one thing, but rapelling down a 50-degree incline is a different feeling. It is a beautiful building, inside and out, and we’re glad to be part of giving the church the ability to produce its own clean source of energy.”

The system is expected to offset 40% of CCRC’s electrical usage, produce 62,147 kilowatt hours annually and reduce utility costs by approximately $9,000, year over year.

“Part of what convinced our folks that the project was viable was presenting them with Altenergy’s payback calculations,” said Nate Dierlam, a congregant and leader of the church’s solar project. “Showing our social justice committee that the system would pay off, and long-term, be a big money saver for the church, was extremely helpful. We are installing the system for a variety of reasons. The economics make sense, and we have a desire to lessen our greenhouse gas emissions.”

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