The Yorkville Congregational United Church of Christ recently added a solar panel awning to the church.

The newly constructed project includes 30 solar panels that will provide energy to cover about one-third of the electricity needs of the church, located at 409 Center Parkway in Yorkville. Also, the rooms to the south of the church are cooler because of the extra shade. The panels blend into the existing roof and architectural lines of the church, which was completed in 1989.

To fund the project, the church was awarded a $10,000 grant from Faith in Place, a nonprofit organization committed to environmental justice. The grant came from Ann Boisclair and Jeffrey Jens. Church members also gave private donations. The church will also receive solar rebates from ComEd based on the number and size of the solar panels. Solar Renewable Energy Certificates from the state of Illinois will be paid over a four-year period to complete the financing.

Independence Renewable Energy from Sandwich engineered the support structure and installed the solar panels. Thirty panels, 410 watts each, are anchored to the building’s 30-degree slope adjacent to the south roof. The panels are estimated to produce 12.3 kilowatt-hours of power (16,890 kWh per year), which provides approximately 29.7% of the electricity used by the church.

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