A kickoff meeting of a program called “Solar Saints” was held Saturday afternoon, December 1st at All Saints Episcopal Church in Wolfeboro, NH. Twenty-six participants attended the meeting representing five churches and four community nonprofits.
Solar Saints is a program sponsored by All Saints Church and the NH Episcopal Diocese to help Episcopal churches in NH and community nonprofits install solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays on their property with the joint benefits of reducing their carbon footprint and directing more of their financial resources towards their mission. They have been working on bringing the program into being for two years.
The two hour meeting included an overview by Solar Saints members of the various financial options available to nonprofits to help them fund a solar array on their property. Solar Saints’ vision is to aggregate many nonprofits in a community to “go solar” together and jointly benefit from the economy of scale.
Dan Weeks of Revision Energy presented one financial option called “third party finance” that helps nonprofits take advantage of the 30% federal tax credit and depreciation on their PV array which is otherwise not available to nonprofit organizations. In this option, the third party purchases and owns the array for the first six years while the tax credits are taken. After this initial period, the nonprofit will have the option to purchase the array, typically at 50% less than the initial installation cost. The nonprofit will also receive its electricity from the PV array at below market rates resulting in savings to the nonprofit from the first day of installation.
The two members of All Saints Church leading the Solar Saints program are Douglas Smithwood and Susan Fuller. For more information, please contact Susan Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org.