Solar Powered Church: Shepherdstown Presbyterian

Our very first project won Interfaith Power & Light’s National Renewable Role Model award for our first-of-its-kind crowdfunding program with non-profits.  We use our deep knowledge of energy policy and financing to build programs that work—even in Appalachia.  Faced with unprecedented demand in the state, we worked with partners to launch the first solar job training and apprenticeship program in West Virginia—bringing jobs and opportunities to the coalfields.   Now, all across West Virginia, our teams of trained and talented electricians and installers are building beautiful solar systems; diversifying our workforce, energy landscape, and economy.  

Solar Holler is a full service solar developer and installer for all West Virginians.  We are a rare breed—a fully licensed electrical contracting firm with policy and financing expertise, a finger on the pulse of cutting edge technology, and an absolute commitment to using the power of solar energy to revitalize Appalachian communities.    

Renewable Role Model Winner – Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church
Shepherdstown, West Virginia

CO2 Reduction: 132 metric tons/year
Generating: 19,000 kWh of electricity
Percent CO2 Reduction: 50%

Largest community-supported solar system in West Virginia
In a first of its kind project, residents and businesses in this small town in Jefferson County, West Virginia came together to do what was once seemingly impossible — making solar power affordable for any church or non-profit in one of the most coal-dependent states in America. Nearly 100 families and businesses in and around Shepherdstown made the project possible through an innovative crowd funding campaign. Working with Solar Holler, the Church was able to go solar with no cost — upfront or in the future. Instead, funding for the project was raised through the installation of demand response controllers on community members’ electric water heaters. The water heater controllers were installed and operated by Mosaic Power, a smart grid technology company in Frederick, Maryland. Mosaic Power manages water heaters as a virtual power plant — responding to the electricity grid in real time to make it more efficient and balance supply and demand. Through this demand response service, Mosaic Power reduces blackouts and pollution. Mosaic Power pays property owners $100 per tank per year for participation. Rather than taking the money themselves, project supporters agreed to have their payments support the Church’s solar project. And by using Mosaic controllers as the funding source, the Church drastically scaled up its climate impact — each Mosaic controller eliminates as much carbon pollution as 6 solar panels.