First Energy Star Solar Powered Church in the Nation

Energy Star Church

Energy Star Church

Community Church Unitarian Universalist (CCUU) of Lakeview was flooded with eight feet of water when the 17th Street Canal levee broke on August 29, 2005. Six years later, the church made a major comeback as the first Energy Star-rated, solar-powered church in the United States. Solar Alternatives worked with the CCUU in applying for grants to create their solar powered facility.

CCUU enlisted Solar Alternatives to help create a green and sustainable architectural design and applied for a stimulus clean energy grant established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Though the church received no funding initially, it decided to apply a second time and was successful.

“I had met some of the board members of the church personally, and we started talking about their vision for green building and we gave them some designs and guidance,” says Jeff Cantin, founder and president of Solar Alternatives. “The second time we applied for the grant, we changed the design from geothermal to solar panels.”

By that time, the church already had raised one-third of the money needed to purchase and install the panels. The grant money provided for most of the remaining costs.

Solar Alternatives installed  66 solar modules with an anticipated annual electricity generation of 18,682 kWh, and a savings of over $2,000.

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