Americus, GA – Koinonia Farm, a Georgia based intentional Christian community non-profit organization that serves as a working farm and house of hospitality, is set to receive power from a new solar energy system at no upfront cost to the historic organization. Creative Solar USA, through its sister company 3P Energy, will install, own, and operate the solar energy system for 15 years and provide the power produced by the solar panels to Koinonia at a discounted rate through one of the State’s first private Solar Energy Procurement Agreements (SEPA).
The solar panels will cover the roof of the Farm’s processing facility and were made possible thanks to a close collaboration between Creative Solar USA and Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL). GIPL provided a 10-year zero-interest loan that helped finance one-fourth of the total cost of the project. After the SEPA expires Koinonia Farm will have the option to purchase the solar energy system.
Stephen Andersen with Koinonia Farm shares, “Koinonia has a rich history dating from 1942, steeped in manifesting Christian compassion and love by welcoming anyone regardless of race or religion and launching the Partnership Housing Movement that became Habitat for Humanity. They also have a sustainability mission and are proud to announce the installation of a new solar project. The solar project will provide sustainable, renewable electrical energy as part of a long-term, low-risk investment. No additional costs are expected in the near term, and yet there are expectations for significant cost savings in the intermediate and long terms. A creative and experienced team of business and technical professionals, using a combination of business tax credits and incentives for faith-based organizations, made this project possible.”
Bren Dubay, Director of Koinonia Farm, adds “Since our founding in 1942, Koinonia’s desire has been to serve. We have looked for innovative ways to do that. Humility has shown us that it takes a community — good friend Steve Anderson, man of action Cesar Prieto of Creative Solar USA, entrepreneur Russell Seifert of 3P Energy and visionary Codi Norred of GIPL have made it possible for Koinonia to do what it could not do alone. We are humbled by this new partnership and delighted by this opportunity to become more sustainable allowing Koinonia to better serve not only our community but the larger community as well.”
3P Energy owner Russell Seifert, explains “With a SEPA in place, solar becomes accessible to a wide variety of organizations that lack the capital or do not have the tax appetite (for example, non-profits) as lessening the burden for the capital expense avoid having to purchase the system outright. While we will provide power to Koinonia at a discounted rate consistently throughout their 15-year solar agreement, at the end of the agreement they will have the option to purchase their system.”
Codi Norred with GIPL, states “Communities of faith are increasingly concerned about what they can do to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Not only that, but these same communities are also increasingly concerned about the cost of energy, and their own ability to be sustainable and resilient. We believe that communities of faith should be the leaders in exploring bold and creative solutions to address climate change and environmental impacts through clean energy alternatives. Koinonia is doing just that. We hope their example serves as a model for other institutions of faith across the state of Georgia to be leaders alongside them.”
This project has special significance for all parties involved as Americus was the first place where a photovoltaic panel was installed by Bell Laboratories back in 1955.