SCRC Awarded Wind Turbine Grant!
Reverend Rod received official word Monday December 27th that our church has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the Virgin Islands Energy Office to install a 10 Kilowatt Wind Turbine !
The Church Consistory, having unaimously approved the proposal earlier in the fall, has reviewed the details and filed the final papers to accept the funds and begin the installation process.
In January 2011 the permitting and engineering process begins, followed by placing the order for the turbine & tower. Once ordered, it will take approximately 90 days for the pad to be constructed and the equipment to arrive. If all goes well, we could be flipping the switch sometime in May.
The church’s out of pocket contribution is approximately $16,500. This money will be borrowed from the church’s reserve funds and paid back by electricity savings per a 7 year schedule.
The turbine’s output will be “net-metered” into the island’s power grid. Every kilowatt the turbine produces will be credited on our WAPA bill. The grant money was made available through the US Dept of Energy as part of the Economic Stimulus Plan. Because the cost of electricity in the USVI is the highest in the US, the turbine is projected to save the church upwards of $700 a month on its electricity bill.
In addition to paying back the reserve fund, savings will be redirected into 3 special funds:
(1) To provide energy related benevolence to the St Croix community and energy improvements to the church building.
(2) To provide additional instructional help to The Kingshill School.
(3) To provide maintaince and eventual replacement funds for the turbine.
The innovative way in which the church proposed to distribute the savings was part of what caught the grant committee’s eye. In addition to generating savings, it is the church’s hope that the prominent location of the turbine will stimulate discussion and demonstrate the feasibility of wind power on the islands, as well as, make people aware that there is a warm and welcoming Reformed congregation up in La Reine!
Guiding us through the permit and installation process will be Steffen Larsen and Rich Carpenter from “Cruzan Power” –alternative energy & wind experts here on St Croix, and both of whom have installed 10k wind turbines at their homes. Cruzan Power is assisting the church without fee in order to promote wind power on the islands. (See photos in previous post of our meeting with them.)
For more specific details about the Grant Proposal, and for details about the specific Wind Turbine and tower, including a video, see the previous post on the subject at https://stcroixreformed.org/2010/09/05/consistory-approves-wind-turbine-proposal/
Our thanks to the members of the Grant Proposal Task Force!
Don Bailey, Will Borden, Michael Mongeau, Stan Joines, George Novey, Neil MacQueen, Rod & Janie Koopmans, with technical advice provided by Don Buchanan.
The Consistory has authorized Rod Koopmans and Neil MacQueen to form a new “Wind Committee” to oversee installation and operation. Arguably, this is the most appropriately titled church committee ever. If you are interested in being part of that team, let them know. As we move forward, the comittee will be posting progress reports and sharing more details about the turbine and tower.
Members of the Wind Committee and their functions on the committee:
Don Bailey,accounting, Consistory liason
Michael Mongeau, grant compliance, education/promotion, Kingshill School rep.
Neil MacQueen, Committee coordinator, liason to Cruzan Power, education/promotion
Will Borden, installation/contractor oversight
George Novey, installation/contractor oversight
Rod Koopmans, staff raconteur