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Photovoltaic panels installed on Cedar Rapids church, members send a message



Cedar Rapids, Iowa – With the hope that others will follow, a church of Cedar Rapids spreads the gospel of earth stewardship.

Photovoltaic panels were put on the roof of Peoples Church in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday in an effort to save money on electricity while also tackling climate change.

“We hope that many people and organizations, maybe churches even will follow our example. It’s a good way to save money, it’s a good way to be a little bit less demanding on our atmosphere and the earth,” church member Rich Patterson said.

Patterson believes it is the first church in the area to have such panels installed.

The word “photovoltaic” means energy derived from light. Photovoltaics use semi-conductor technology to directly convert sunlight into electricity. The panels can only produce energy when the sun is shining, so they differ from solar panels, which can store energy.

The Peoples Church expects the panels to produce two-thirds of the electricity they’ll need, but church leaders say should they produce more than needed, it will be shared with other users on the power grid, also called “net metering.”

The project’s total bill is $21,000 and it isn’t done yet. Over the next two weeks, electricians will connect the panels to the church wiring.

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