Good news! Our church parking lot will soon be shaded by two canopy rows of solar panels, and our church’s roof-top solar array will be upgraded to double its current coverage. This is all in the spirit of creating clean electricity. We will also get four new EV (electric vehicle) chargers installed (we may have to decommission the existing one – more later). Ten members of UUCPA already have electric cars. The new charging connections will encourage expansion of the EV user community.
Efforts to get these projects planned, approved, funded and scheduled have been underway for two+ years by various members of the Board of Trustees, the Buildings and Grounds Committee, the Green Sanctuary Committee, and Finance Committee.
Construction began in late August. It will last for approximately five weeks. The contractor will be drilling a few rows of 12″ holes into the asphalt of the parking lot, which will be filled with concrete to support vertical posts holding up the canopy. When it’s all finished, our driving and parking habits will have to adjust… (In the Office, Debra has some duct tape you can use to cover up any dents and scrapes you make in your car!).
As a reminder, there are actually two solar projects going in at the same time. The parking lot canopy is costing us nothing; it is being built, owned and maintained by an independent contractor, who will sell all the electricity to the City of Palo Alto. In 25 years, we receive ownership of the canopy, free. The other project, on the roof of our existing campus buildings, will add more clean power, 100% for our own use.
We will be making announcements regularly and providing signage as construction progresses.
UUCPA’s goals in undertaking these projects include the desire to serve as an example to other Faith Communities, our sister UU churches included. We will be taking photos and videos, and hope to turn them into a “How To” tool for posting on our website, and sharing with others. Do you, or someone you know have an interest in doing this fun video project? Please get in touch with Debra in our main office!
We look forward to a ‘ribbon-cutting’ celebration in late September or October. See you there! — Jeralyn Moran