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Ann Arbor Hopes Solar-Powered Church Will Inspire Others

Campus Chapel Website
Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor

A southeastern Michigan city is organizing a solar energy open house and tour of a solar-powered church to encourage more organizations to go solar.

Campus Chapel in Ann Arbor will host the event on Sunday, The Ann Arbor News reported. The church installed a 44-panel, 12-kilowatt array in October 2016. It provides all of the facility's energy.

The city is working with Michigan Interfaith Power and Light as part of a program called Solar Faithful, which aims to help churches turn to solar energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded the city $10,000 to participate in a nationwide solar energy contest. The SunShot Prize: Solar in Your Community challenge features $1 million in final prizes. Projects will be judged based on innovation, impact and replicability.

The city hopes to use the funds to help three churches install solar power and reach a 2.4-megawatt solar goal.
City officials say places of worship are good candidates for solar projects because there are more than 150 in the area and many have large roofs.

The church event will provide information about the process of going solar, including how to determine if it is feasible, the first steps for beginning a solar project and potential ways to finance the work. The city hopes to encourage investments in renewable energy and increase efforts in energy conservation in a push to reduce the community's carbon emissions.

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