Ephrata, PA, February 28, 2017– Sunshine is now providing electricity for the office and Welcoming Center facility of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. located at 21 S. 12th St. in Akron, PA. The 33.80 kW solar electricity system was installed by Meadow Valley Electric and is owned by MV Energy LLC, both of Ephrata, PA. During the first several years of operation, MCC will purchase the solar-produced electricity from MV Energy. Eventually, MCC plans to purchase the system and will benefit from its electricity for the remainder of the system’s estimated 30-year life. MCC will be able to purchase the system at a reduced cost in a few years as a result of MV Energy owning the system now.
MCC and MVE Energy hope this innovative partnership between a non-profit organization and private business will serve as a model for future collaborations by other entities that wish to reduce energy, benefit the environment, and support local businesses and the community. Investing in renewable solar energy reduces energy consumption and costs and diminishes dependence on fossil fuels and the power grid.
Growing out of its Anabaptist/Mennonite values of Creation Care and concern for the environment, MCC has been reducing, through various efficiency projects, its annual electricity consumption, and is now consuming only 70% of the electricity it was using in 2012. The addition of the solar installation further reduces MCC’s reliance on power-plant produced electricity by about 11%.
According to Dennis Kready, MCC’s Maintenance Manager, “MCC will continue to reduce our dependence on energy which is harming the earth by using energy wisely, improving the efficiency of our infrastructure, and hopefully, doubling the size of our solar capacity in the coming years.” Of special note, other MCC-related offices also benefit from solar installations, including the West Coast MCC Office in California, the MCC Central States office in Kansas, an MCC thrift shop in Virginia, and the MCC Ontario (Canada) office.
Kready hopes to see MCC’s Akron campus evolve into an educational, interactive experience for the more than 2000 guests which visit the campus annually, highlighting not only energy efficiency and renewable energy, but also stormwater management techniques and use of appropriate vegetation for landscaping and erosion control.
For Meadow Valley Electric, the highlight of the system is its safety features. With the SolarEdge Rapid Disconnect function, PV source circuits can be de-energized to less than 30 volts of direct current in less than 10 seconds with a switch on the inverter, making it safer for firefighters to quickly shut down the system in the event of an emergency.
For MV Energy, the project offers the opportunity to demonstrate how business and non-profits can work together in a way that benefits each partner as well as the community at large.
MCC is a ministry of Anabaptist churches working in relief, development and peacebuilding in the name of Christ, both internationally and domestically. It will be celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2020.
MV ENERGY, LLC is an Ephrata, Pennsylvania based company established to promote renewable energy through innovative partnerships by connecting local non-profit organizations and businesses.
MEADOW VALLEY ELECTRIC, INC. is an award-winning commercial electrical contractor. A division of MVE Group, Meadow Valley Electric was established in 1973 in a small barn in rural Ephrata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The company grew to include ESCO, Inc. (1984), specializing in commercial and home security and fire protection systems; KWReduction (1999) helping businesses and municipalities reduce energy and save money with energy audits and energy saving lighting solutions; and MVE Solar (2009) helping businesses reduce energy consumption by switching to renewable solar energy.