Pantano Christian Church chose to install solar on their place of worship in order to significantly reduce their electricity bills for the next few years, and ultimately eliminate them. The system, which is installed on three separate free standing shade structures, including two parking shade structures and a large shade cover for the playground. Their environmental savings are also significant, allowing them to practice environmental stewardship. FINANCIAL: Pantano Christian Church decided to go solar in order to immediately save money on their electrical bill. The system was installed with no upfront cost due to the lease they hold. Now, with a monthly lease payment of $10,798, a monthly performance based incentive (PBI) from Tucson Electric Power (TEP) of $6,720 and $5,561 saved in electrical costs, the church realizes $1,483 in net savings each month. After 13 years, Pantano Christian Church will own the system outright and begin to see net savings of $12,000 each month.
In addition to the immediate and future savings, the fixed solar payment also insulates the church’s budget. The same monthly expense allows the church to plan for steady payments instead of fluctuating costs as seasonal electricity use changes. Since utility costs are estimated to rise steadily 2% each year, the church is also protected from future escalating utility prices.
SHADE: Since more than half of the solar panels are fixed to free standing structures, the parishioners are able to enjoy shade provided by the panels. Two parking structures provide shade to 80 parking spaces while the third solar shade canopy completely covers the playground and offers protection from the sun and heat in the summer. This added bonus will increase the quality of the worship and community experience at Pantano Christian Church.
SYSTEM: The Pantano Christian Church solar system is one of the largest systems installed on a church in the country. The 342.16 kW DC system consists of 1,456 Serengeti 235 watt modules paired with three SatCon inverters. Each month the system is estimated to produce between 46,343 and 48,911kW which will cover 90% of the church’s electrical needs. When the system produces excess electricity, Tucson Electric Power (TEP) will give Pantano direct credit, allowing them to roll over extra credits to the next month’s electricity bill.
ENVIRONMENTAL: The solar system also helps the church practice environmental stewardship by almost entirely eliminating their dependence on fossil fuels for electricity generation. Each month the Pantano solar system will save over 46,343 lbs of coal from being burned and 109,500 lbs of carbon dioxide and other green house gases from being released into the atmosphere. The system will also ensure that 24,500 gal of water will be saved each month from being used to generate electricity in a coal fired plant. This is extremely important in the desert where water is such a precious resource.