Parish leaders have fulfilled a plan to install solar panels on the 1-acre roof of the Church of the Presentation — less than a year after serious discussions began on going green.

“It’s going to look fine, and it’s being good stewards of the earth,” said the Rev. Bob Stagg, pastor of the church on West Saddle River Road. “There are no roof obstacles here, no trees blocking the sun, and there’s no shade. It’s just the place for solar energy.”

There are 380 solar panels now positioned along sections of the roof with southern and eastern sun exposure, Stagg said. The system is due to go live at the end of this month.

The panels are far from recreational fields and tall trees, Stagg said. The 19-acre property is set back off the main roadway, and the solar panels nearly match the color of the roofing, parish members say.

Stagg estimates that the Presentation Church — one of a handful of religious institutions to apply solar equipment in some form — will be a model for energy savings for religious institutions in the area.

Church parishioners formed a limited liability company, or LLC, to set the project in motion, a plan that Stagg praised.

“We formed an LLC because the church doesn’t have a tax appetite,” he said. “Churches don’t pay taxes.

“Thirteen parishioners gathered together to form the LLC. They formed the company, own it, and we’re going to lease back from them,” Stagg said. “The benefit for the church is that it will be a savings of about 30 percent immediately on our electricity — and we’re ‘going green,’ which is very desirable.”

The federal government will write The Spirit Express LLC a check for 30 percent of the job because it is being completed before Dec. 31, Stagg said.

source: northjersey

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