Colonial Church dedicates new solar panels that will provide 1/4 of church’s energy needs

Pastor Aaron Roberts (right) led the dedication of Colonial Church’s new solar panel array.

Members of the Colonial Church congregation and Prairie Village city officials gathered this morning to dedicate a bank of solar panels that the church says serve as an important symbol of its dedication to stewardship of the planet.

Calling the solar panels a “visible witness” to the crisis of climate change, Pastor Aaron Roberts thanked the many donors who had allowed the project to move forward, and delivered a prayer.

The decision to install the array on the roof facing 71st Street at the intersection with Mission Road was quite intentional, Roberts said. For one, the southern facing roof gets the most light exposure. But it also makes the panels highly visible to motorists and pedestrians passing by.

“This can be an example of what’s possible,” Roberts said. “And this is something we all need to be doing right now.”

The panels, which were installed earlier this fall, will fill about a quarter of the facility’s energy needs. The church hopes to expand the installation in the coming years to provide even more of its electricity.

Mayor Eric Mikkelson, who appeared at the dedication with a number of city administration staff and two newly elected members of the council, noted that, in its own operations, the city of Prairie Village had made a number of moves to improve sustainability. But, he said, it was key to have private organizations addressing energy issues.

“There are limits to what the city can do, but when non-profits and churches like Colonial lead by example…when we’re all working together, there are no limits to the good things we can do in Prairie Village,” Mikkelson said.