The Saint David’s Episcopal Church in Austin is pioneering the way in urban solar power with a massive solar project. The church administrators are hoping to reduce its electricity costs that is fueled by a restaurant, coffee shop, bookstore, parking garage and preschool attached to the building.
The idea for the solar panel project came ten years ago but the low interest rates, government rebates caused members to grasp at the opportunity to go ahead with it. The initial project proposal consisted of 150 KW. However, it was rejected by Austin Energy as it was deemed to be too large.
The project was so huge, it would produce more energy than the church needed and posed a potential safety issues. The excess energy could result in equipment damage overtime as well as cutting off power from the building. As a result, the capacity of the proposal had to be reduced in order to gain approval.
If the solar system works for the church, it will be a beacon of hope for businesses and other interests that are considering solar energy. Texas electricity rates have been so cheap the past several years that it has been difficult for solar energy projects to get funded in many cases.