Going solar was the brainchild of Rachel Davis and Mick Henry, members of the church. They spent over 500 hours over a year and a half getting bids, testing out the idea, crunching numbers and pitching the proposal to the church.
The 132 solar panels were installed in November of 2011, with the money coming from the 250 active members of the church, a $120,000 dollar loan from the Presbyterian Church and a $20,000 rebate from Arizona Public Service.
Within 5 years, 100% of the power the church needs will be generated by the sun. The solar panels will be paid off in 15 years and the church estimates it will save $350,000 over the 40-year lifetime of the panels.
The panels are tied to a tracking system, where the installer will monitor them for defects and track energy generation in real time.
In addition to the solar installation, the church is also changing lighting and adding insulation to increase energy efficiency.