SOLAR SUCCESS STORY: St. Paul Lutheran Church


  • FUNDING:  $14,064 in July 2022. This gift covered a quarter of the church’s total investment toward the project.
  • PLACEMENT: A 31-kW solar array was installed on the 60-year-old church’s roof.
  • IMPACT: The efforts in solar have provided lasting opportunities for the church to engage in “green ministry” by reducing its ecological footprint.
  • COST SAVINGS: $64,000 in lifetime energy costs.

Solar power sits center stage at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Morgantown, WV. The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund (SFF) provided the church with a $14,064 grant award toward a solar installation in July 2022. St. Paul’s investment in solar installation for churches allows the church to better serve its faith, environment, and community.

A 31-kW rooftop solar array was installed on the 60-year-old church building by Solar Holler, a West Virginia-based solar development company. These solar panels are a sight to see at the high-traffic intersection on Patterson Avenue near West Virginia University’s Evansdale campus and WVU Coliseum. The church is projected to save $64,000 in energy costs over the system’s lifespan!

One of the main incentives for the project is St. Paul’s commitment to “green ministry.” “Our church is committed to stewarding God’s creation by caring for the earth as best we can. Solar not only met our desire to address future energy costs but also allows us to live out our faith,” said St. Paul’s Pastor Tony Setley.

With help from the SFF, St. Paul Lutheran Church is able to save money and, perhaps even more importantly, showcase its values to church members and the Morgantown community. “The Solar Finance Fund was very easy to work with. Often, when you hear about federally-backed grants, it’s an intimidating process. Autumn Long and the others administering SFF made the process painless and worked with us,” says Setley.

Alongside SFF and Appalachian Voices, St. Paul Lutheran Church would like to thank Edna Dillion, Dr. Roger Toffle, and Solar Holler for their guidance and aid in bringing the project to life.

The Appalachian Solar Finance Fund is a program dedicated to spurring new solar development in coal-impacted counties of Central Appalachia. We can help with financing for solar installation for churches. If you are interested in bringing solar power to your community, learn more about the fund and apply online for grants and technical assistance.