In Fall 2016, the Campus Chapel installed 44 solar panels on our south-facing roof that will help off-set our energy needs. The panels are tied into the electric grid, so when we’re producing more electricity than we’re consuming, we sell that excess to the power company. When we use more than we’re generating, we simply buy some back. However, according to our calculations, we should generate over a year about the same amount of electricity that we use.
The solar panels are one result of the development campaign connected to the Campus Chapel’s 75th anniversary. The Chapel community had been talking about doing this particular project since the early 2000s and has been working toward better energy efficiency as part of our creation care mission for even longer. Reducing our carbon footprint will lessen our contribution to climate change. Environmental stewardship is a common value in Ann Arbor and at the University of Michigan, but we want people to know that we see it as part of our calling as Christians. Our building is regularly used by other student ministries and clubs, and many have expressed surprise and gratitude that we’ve taken this step.
In this project, we’re striving to be faithful to God’s call to stewardship, both in our care of creation and of our financial resources. We see that as a way to show love and care to God’s creation and to our neighbor. Our Reformed understanding of God’s redemption of all things means we ought to care about this created world, not just the world to come.