Earlier this month, Edmonds UMC shared on Facebook that solar panel installation had started at the church. The church’s Advocates for the Environment Team secured the project funding through the State of Washington’s Community Solar Expansion Program and the Federal Government’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). They are one of the latest churches in the northwest to break ground on a clean energy project with civic funding.

Last week, the Washington State Department of Commerce announced $72 million in grants for community clean energy projects. Federal Way UMC was among the recipients, awarded an $872k grant for a solar and storage project to fight climate change and build community resilience.

“We are deeply grateful to the Washington State Department of Commerce for this generous grant, which will enable us to enhance our community’s resilience and fight climate change through innovative solar and storage projects, shared Federal Way UMC’s pastor, Rev. DJ del Rosario.

For the Seattle Times, the church’s lay leader, Ann Mayer, celebrated how this will reduce the church’s reliance on fossil fuels. “This helps us to live our mission because we as people of faith are called to care for God’s creation.” Over email, Mayer expressed gratitude for the team that helped them reach this point so that they could be “better stewards of God’s creation.”

Congratulations to Edmonds and Federal Way for receiving these grants! Thank you for putting yourselves forward as community partners, helping to reduce our collective contributions to carbon emissions, and being good stewards of your financial resources.

A new funding opportunity

If you are a PNW Church served by Puget Sound Energy (PSE), there is a 2024 grant program for solar to consider.

In 2024, PSE is offering $1,250,000 in competitive funding awards to community-based organizations, government agencies and Tribal entities in PSE’s electric service area to install solar on their property. To apply, complete the Grant Application and Grant Certification forms on the PSE website by August 14 and submit them to psegreenpower@pse.com.

While renewable energy projects align with United Methodist environmental stewardship values, grants help make them more accessible. They make these projects possible for ministries with limited funds and shorten the gap between the initial investment and the payoff in reduced energy bills. Please remember Faith Foundation Northwest as a potential loan partner to bridge the financial gap.

The PNW Solar Grant Support Group remains on the lookout for other solar and green energy funding and will keep you informed via this newsletter. If you have questions, contact Eric Walker at egwalker72@gmail.com

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Patrick Scriven
Patrick Scriven is a husband who married well, a father of three amazing girls, and a seminary-educated layperson working professionally in The United Methodist Church. Scriven serves the Pacific Northwest Conference as Director of Communications.

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