A HIGHER POWER
Some religions worship the sun; others use it to power their buildings. In late 2014, the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation (ALUUC) in Springfield installed solar panels on the roof of their building at 745 Woodside Road, making it the first church in town to harness this “higher power.” They say it wasn’t just about reducing their power bills: their Seventh Principle of “Respecting the Web of Nature of which we are a part” classifies stewardship of the planet as a spiritual value, so installing the solar array also helps the congregation practice what they preach. At 2.7 kilowatts, the array from WindSolarUSA provides about 20 percent of the building’s power and is equipped with a special “net meter” from City Water, Light and Power which subtracts the solar power produced from the congregation’s total bill. The array is expected to pay for itself in about eight years, and ALUUC plans to add more panels in the future.