Eastern Mennonite Missions flipped the switch Jan. 3 to begin generating enough solar energy to meet half of the electrical demands of its new Hub 450 property in Lancaster, Pa.
“We are delighted to be able to initiate this renewable energy resource as part of our renovations on this historic building,” said EMM chief operating officer Joe Hollinger.
Hub 450 is the name of the building EMM owns at 450 N. Prince St. It is occupied by EMM’s administrative staff and the local, cross-cultural ministries of the Hub 450 hospitality center.
EMM anticipates the rooftop solar array to generate 73,800 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. This will eliminate 25.6 tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere annually.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated in 2020 that an average Pennsylvania house uses 846 kilowatt hours of electricity a month. EMM’s solar array is expected to generate the monthly equivalent of seven households’ electricity consumption — or 6,150 kilowatt hours. Designed by Dennis Kready of MVE Group, the solar array is made up of 150 modules.
This system is financed by an investment relationship in which a private entity will own the solar array for six years. During this time, the energy will be sold to EMM at a predetermined price. At the end of the term, the owner of the system will sell it to EMM at fair market value.
Other sustainable efforts at Hub 450 include LED lighting and a new roof with 8 inches of fiberglass insulation and a reflective, white rubber top layer.
During the 2020 renovation, EMM was able to recycle several hundred ceiling tiles, 18 tons of light iron, 500 pounds of copper pipe and 2,000 pounds of copper wire. Many of the cabinets and doors were donated to Habitat ReStore.
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