Menno Haven, a retirement community based in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, is now partially powering its facilities with a recently energized 53.6 kW solar panel system. The 134 solar panels were installed atop Menno Haven’s Life Center by Paradise Energy Solutions.
There were two reasons Menno Haven decided to invest in solar energy: to save money and to reduce their carbon footprint and air pollution.
“Although the first one is nice, we feel the second is more important,” said John Luetzelschwab, resident and co-founder of Menno Haven’s Green Team — a group of residents with the mission to help their community be good stewards of the Earth.
Building on the Green Team’s mission, the board of directors created a sub-committee focused on sustainability. A large part of its mission was renewable energy, which spurred the installation of the solar system. Throughout the process, the residents of Menno Haven were very supportive of the push to go solar, showing their commitment to sustainable living.
“The funds to pay for the project came from resident and board donations,” said Luetzelschwab. “So we have many residents who feel the same way.
“With this background, we hope to install additional solar arrays using Power Purchase Agreements,” he added
The solar panels that were installed by Paradise Energy Solutions will generate 60,000 kWh, which provides over $4,000 of electricity each year. Additionally, the system can make Menno Haven an extra $1,000 each year from the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits.
In addition to reducing operating costs, Luetzelschwab is hopeful that the solar panels will benefit the community in other ways.
“As more retiring people are becoming concerned about environmental issues, they will see Menno Haven as an institution that shares these concerns and will be willing to choose Menno Haven as their retirement home,” he said. “For the same reason that Menno Haven could benefit from good marketing and public relations, other businesses could also benefit by attracting customers.”