In Minnesota churches, let there be light – solar light

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In Minnesota churches, let there be light – solar light

August 30, 2016

When the Bible quotes God declaring “Let there be light,” it wasn’t exactly referring to solar power.

But across Minnesota, there’s been an unprecedented surge in religious congregations installing rooftop solar panels, subscribing to off-site solar “gardens” and urging their faithful to do the same.

The most ambitious project is slated for this fall at Shiloh Temple International Ministries in north Minneapolis, which will build a solar garden on its roof, make energy available for up to 40 neighbors, and be part of a solar installation job-training program for lower-income workers.

“We’d call it a ‘kairos moment’ — a time when everything happens,’ ” said the Rev. Gwin Pratt, retired pastor of St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka, which is now solar-powered.

“Everything” refers to the stars aligning on several fronts. For starters, many denominations have made it a priority to shrink their carbon footprint. Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change is one of the most recent calls to action.

Meanwhile, a 2013 state energy law created financial incentives to invest in solar power and a mandate for more renewable energy. The price of solar has dropped more than 50 percent in recent years, while efficiency has improved.

Source:  Star Tribune

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