Let the Sunshine In: Kenilworth Union Church Goes Solar

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King Poor, Kenilworth Union Church Green Team Chair

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Exciting news! Starting this May, Kenilworth Union will receive about 90% of its electricity from the sun. After months of considering various options, the church has signed a contract with a company named NexAmp to become part of a “community solar” project. Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

  1. What Is Community Solar?  By being part of a community solar project, Kenilworth Union will receive electricity from four “solar farms” currently being built in northern Illinois near the towns of Burlington, Kingston, Marengo, and Oregon. Our local electric utility, Com Ed, will buy the power that we use from the solar farms, which in turn, will offset power what it would otherwise generate from fossil-fuel or nuclear power plants. Kenilworth Union then receives a credit for that power. 
  1. Kenilworth Union Saves About $2,500 a Year on Its Electric Bill:  The credit that the church receives from Com Ed will reduce its electric bill by about $2,500 a year. The church will also remain on Com Ed’s electric grid, so if there is ever a problem with a solar farm’s generation, the church’s power remains uninterrupted. Also, the church may terminate the contract at any time without penalty.
  1. Kenilworth Union Will Offset Over 100 Tons of Carbon Dioxide a Year: Based on reputable estimates, generating one kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity (think of ten 100-watt light bulbs lit for an hour) produces a little over one pound of carbon dioxide. Our contract estimates that the church will receive about 201,000 kWh of solar power each year—which translates into reducing our carbon footprint by over 100 tons annually.
  1. Community Solar Provides Jobs and Helps Local Farmers: Building and maintaining solar farms will provide local-area jobs and also help Illinois farmers derive extra revenue from land on which they don’t need to grow crops.
  1. Community Solar for Your Home? Community solar is also available for residences. If you have an interest in having solar power for your home, please contact Kenilworth Union Green Team chair, King Poor.

Posted on February 4, 2021

February 4, 2021

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