RIDGECREST, CA: The Right Rev. David Rice will bless the solar panels installed at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in a ceremony on Sunday, October 17, 2021. According to Bishop Rice, “Episcopalians believe that creation continues to occur, that it’s a gift to all of God’s people, whether they are part of a faith community or not, and that acknowledging creation care is to acknowledge that creation is a gift to all of us.” In 2019, 100% of the clergy, bishops, priests, and deacons, and a significant number of lay members, of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin made the Creation Care Pledge to the wider Episcopal Church. In witness to that pledge, the Diocese intends to generate at least 93% of its churches’ energy requirements from solar power by the end of Phase 2. The goal is consistent with that of the wider Episcopal Church’s goal to be good stewards of God’s creation – earth and its environment.
The solar array was installed on the roof of the parish hall in September. The array consists of 30 solar panels, 22 on the west side and 8 on the east side.
The solar array installed on the west and east side of the parish hall roof. Photos: Dave Waller
During Phase I of the Diocesan Solar Project which occurred in 2020, solar installation was completed on six sites. After just six months, these solar installations are generating 55% of the energy needs of the diocese. Solar will be added to six sites in Phase II, which will be at 75% completion by December 2021. With completion of Phase II, more than 90% of the diocese’s energy needs will be renewable.