Solar Faithful is an organization with one main mission. Their goal is to increase solar access for houses of worship and faith-based nonprofits.

Gerry Koning, the pastor at the Refuge Church in Grandville, had been anticipating the solar panel installation for some time. “Then, finally it came! In the morning, we were able to tell the congregation that we were making our power from the sun, and everybody erupted into a great amount of applause,” said Koning. “That was pretty special.”

Koning expressed that some members initially had doubts about solar energy in the state of Michigan. Even though Michigan is known to have plenty of cloud cover, the state produces enough sunlight to provide solar energy. In fact, the Refuge Church has been able to produce more solar energy than their building needs. The excess energy is then distributed back to the grid, to nearby neighborhoods.

“We’re providing some green carbon free energy to our neighbors. I realize they don’t know that. They can’t tell the difference from what is made by the coal powered plant or at Port Sheldon. But, we know it is,” said Koning. “We’d love to let them know that we’re allowing them to have and utilize some green energy that is coming from our rooftop.”