Elko Church First in Nevada to Take Part in Solar Program

ELKO (AP) - The First Presbyterian Church of Elko has become the first church in Nevada to participate in a state program to encourage the use of renewable energy.

The church has installed 120 solar panels on its roof under the program that Sierra Pacific Power Company and Nevada Power Company help run.

Pastor Pat Mecham says the church board agreed to participate after a parishioner suggested it would be a good way to demonstrate stewardship and to help the environment.

Mecham says the energy saved by the church over the next 12 years will pay for the 119-thousand-dollar system.

The church was presented with a 49-thousand dollar rebate check last week for participating in the program.

While initial installation costs are expensive, utility officials say the church will save even more money over the 25-year-plus lifespan of the system.

Since the 2003 Legislature passed a measure creating the program, 192 projects capable of generating nearly two (m) million kilowatt hours of electricity annually have been completed.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.