Christ Church, Portola Valley, wins Green Energy Oscar

Posted on November 16, 2010

Energy OscarsThis fall, Christ Church, Portola Valley, celebrated the installation of an impressive solar system with an inter-generational service and celebration. The system was paid for through a member-owned LLC corporation, which named itself “Powered by the Son.” Capable of providing 20 kilowatt hours of electricity, this system is expected to produce more power than the church uses during the afternoon hours of summer – the period of peak energy usage. During those hours, Christ Church will actually be delivering clean energy into the grid, which PG&E will purchase. The system is expected to offset 100% of the Christ Church’s annual electricity bill.

But Christ Church didn’t stop at solar – they have also replaced 60% of lighting in the church, library and preschool; installed low-drip irrigation on its grounds; and replaced its ground cover with native, drought-resistant plants. Christ Church also participated successfully in Interfaith Power and Light’s 2010 10% Challenge to Save Energy.

"Our congregation is situated on the edge of green space...” said the Rev. Mitchell Lindeman, Rector of Christ Church, “we see the hopeful trajectory of this effort every day when we look around us.  Though it took four years, it is amazing how quickly such a plan can come together, thanks to new funding possibilities through the formation of an LLC.  Our people are pleased, the power flows back to the grid, and we watch the electric meter roll backwards!  What's not to like? It's been a great team effort here and we are grateful for Cobalt Power and to our people who made it happen."

Because of the work to their facilities, Christ Church was presented a Green Energy Oscar in the category of “green building” by California Interfaith Power and Light (CIPL). The ceremony, emceed by actor Ed Begley Jr. and held at Grace Cathedral, honored outstanding California congregations for their efforts to be good stewards of energy and to respond to climate change.

CIPL is a network of over 500 member congregations who aim to be faithful stewards of Creation by responding to global warming through the promotion of energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Nationally, the Interfaith Power and Light campaign is active in 38 states, working with a powerful force of over 10,000 congregations.

Christ Church tied in the “Green Building” category with Congregation Kol Shofar, Tiburon.


Picture: (L to R) Daniel Hill and The Rev. Mitch Lindeman from Christ Church, with Emcee Ed Bagley, Jr.