A pilot project

donations from the community + roof of a nonprofit = solar energy + savings for nonprofit

A simple idea, but how did we get there?

Lena poses with her bike
Lena Gallitano supports the CUCC Solar Array Project 
"because the birds and I need clean air to breathe.
  Rooftop solar uses available, unproductive space and sun.
  A win-win for everyone!  Won't you support our project?"
Lena is a member of CUCC's
Justice in a Changing 
Climate Task Force.
The people of Community United Church of Christ were interested in installing solar panels on the church's building as a tangible sign of their commitment to caring for God's creation.  We wanted to lower the church's carbon footprint and to support the replacement of fossil-fueled energy generation with renewable energy generation.  We liked the idea of growing the green jobs economy and supporting local companies as a way to live out a commitment to economic justice.  And we enjoy working alongside organizations and individuals with a shared commitment to these values.

In 2012, the congregation began to explore the feasibility of putting a solar array on the church’s roof. In the process of our research, we have met with congregations and neighborhood non-profits throughout North Carolina in various stages of asking the same questions. We realized that, if we could get the kinks out of one pilot project, we might have a model that other non-profits (congregations, community groups) could more easily adopt. In that spirit of cooperation, we decided to throw the pilot project open to anyone in the community who would like to donate.

Sweetening the pot, the current North Carolina tax code allows donors to earn a 35% tax credit by installing solar panels on non-profits.  In addition, donors who itemize deductions for their federal income taxes can count their donation as a charitable deduction.  Although the NC tax credit terminates Dec. 31, 2015, the federal tax deduction for a charitable donation will be available for future installations.

Our long term goal:  A community-funded and reproducible model (with all the paperwork and processes figured out) that would result in nonprofits benefitting from significantly reduced energy bills and shifting from fossil fuel based electricity to renewable, CO2 free energy.

Our short term goal:  A solar array producing about 10,000 kWh/year of electricity mounted on the roof of the fellowship hall at Community United Church of Christ.  All $37,000 to pay for the array and installation are needed by June 1.

To learn more about the project and how you can be part of it by donating and spreading the word, read the information on this site.  If you have questions, contact Gary Smith at smithgk@mindspring.com.