Evanston’s Hemenway United Methodist Church Goes Solar

The Hemenway United Methodist Church now runs on 15.4 kilowatts of solar energy, after the parish finished installing a solar panel system on their roof this February.

Realgy, LLC – an alternative energy service that provides Hemenway with their energy – announced this month that the solar panel system had been successfully installed on top of the 143-year-old church, which is located on the 900 block of Chicago Ave in Evanston.

The solar photovoltaic system on the church will now generate over 18, 250 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually, which is enough energy to power about two average Illinois homes for that same year, according to Realgy’s press release. Hemenway’s solar panel system will also reduce the use of about 50 pickup trucks of coal and 12,775 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year that would otherwise have been used to produce electricity.

“It’s really exciting to see the roof area with the panels installed, as it builds on our commitment to sustainability,” said Hemenway’s pastor, Richard Mosley Jr., in a press release. “We share our building with several non-profits who provide vital services to the community. The solar panels provide energy to reduce our energy costs so that we can redirect resources to life saving endeavors.”

Hem Solar Sys 2(The solar array on the top of the Hemenway United Methodist Church/ Image courtesy of Realgy and Eco Solar Solutions)

Realgy paid to install the solar panel system for the church as a part of the company’s commitment to sustainable energy in Illinois and through a long-term agreement with Hemenway. The solar panels will also help displace electricity that otherwise Realgy would have had to deliver to the church. In 2011, Realgy also paid for the installation of a solar array on top of an Evanston warehouse owned by Lake Line Deliveries.

Paul Szczesny, President of Eco Solar Solutions – the company that installed the solar panels, said that Hemenway’s roof was particularly suitable for a productive solar panel system.

“Hemenway’s church building is a flat roof and southern exposure which was a great building to install the solar PV system,” said Szczesny, in a press release. “Adding solar to the church so that it will now be able to generate most of its ongoing energy needs for the next 25 years is very exciting and a great investment.”

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