Bethel Evangelical Lutheran and Minnesota Community Solar came together earlier this year to promote a solar garden that will sit atop the roof of the Minneapolis church. Without a panel yet installed, the 40-kilowatt (kW) solar garden attracted enough support from the church’s members and surrounding Bancroft neighborhood to be fully subscribed. The project encapsulated for Rev. Brenda L. Froisland a deeper spiritual tug that speaks to her faith and the teachings of Christianity.
“Part of our vision is that in gratitude, Bethel amplifies God’s grace, nourishes God’s creation, reaches out and builds community,” she said. “This is very much a manifestation of those points and our vision. “We’re noting this incredible resource called solar energy God gives us, and we’re nourishing God’s creation by reducing our carbon footprint and consuming less coal — all that’s connected to global warming, sustainability and simplicity.”
Bethel is not alone. A growing number of Minnesota churches and faith-based institutions are building solar projects, installing extensive geothermal heating and cooling systems and adding energy efficiency features — such as sensor-controlled lighting and improved energy monitoring — to their buildings.
Clean Energy Resource Teams Communications Manager Dan Thiede said churchgoers interested in renewable energy tend to believe in the “care for creation” model of belief and have “high moral and ethical standards and a desire to want to try to do something to reduce their impact on the environment.”
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