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By Dave Boyce
Almanac Staff Writer
If there are blessings to be had for reducing one's fossil fuel consumption, Christ Episcopal Church in Portola Valley will surely win some over the next 25 years.
The recently installed roof-mounted 20 kilowatt solar panel system is expected to produce each year more electricity than the church uses and reduce annual emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, by the equivalent of a mid-sized car not driving 818,000 miles, according to a statement by church spokesman Matthew Burt.
The church community worked for several years to arrange for the purchase and installation of the 92 solar panels, which were blessed on Sunday, Sept. 12, by the rector, the Rev. Mitch Lindeman, during a ribbon cutting, system turn-on and barbecue.
A group of 12 parishioners, led by church board member Tim McAdam, founded "Powered by the Son," a limited liability corporation used to win federal and state incentives and the right to depreciate the cost of the panels, Mr. Burt said. Upon recouping the return on its investment, the corporation plans to donate the panels to the church.
The church, located at 815 Portola Road, expects to save $250,000 it would have normally spent on energy costs over the lifetime of the system, Mr. Burt said.