Minnesota winters are long, brutal and gray. Minneapolis resident Keith Dent has endured 38 of them. But over the last several years, he’s experienced what he calls a “reintroduction to the sun.”
In 2017, Dent helped install, and later subscribed to a massive community solar garden mounted atop Shiloh Temple — a majority black church in north Minneapolis. Today, the 630-panel array provides Shiloh itself, the nearby Masjid An-Nur Mosque and 29 local households with green energy.
The Shiloh project is among hundreds of community solar gardens cropping up nationwide working to solve an obstacle many face when trying to go green: the cost of installing rooftop panels, which for a typical household, runs north of $10,000. The project is also among a growing cluster of initiatives affiliated with faith-based institutions seeking to advance their missions of justice by bringing renewable energy to low income communities.
Dent says his utility bills have dropped noticeably since he first subscribed; “That extra $30 or $40 a month? That’s groceries, that’s gas, that’s ballet shoes,” he says.
A massive community solar garden mounted atop a majority black church in north Minneapolis provides the church, a nearby mosque and 29 local households with green energy.
And subscribers aren’t just customers of the array — they’re part-owners. https://t.co/zLEreDoVcs
— NPR (@NPR) December 16, 2019