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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County

October 2, 2023 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm - December 30, 2023 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

Host of UUCMC, Lincroft, NJ : 37kW rooftop solar and 6 heatpumps

VIRTUAL TOUR, UUCMC Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County, 1475 West Front
Street, Lincroft, NJ prepared 9/22/2023 by Steve Miller

PHOTO 1 (This photo is currently on-line introduction photo) Front of the UUCMC church. 104 rooftop
solar panels were installed, December, 2021. The system was connected to the electrical grid April,
2022 after receiving official permission from the electric company to begin operating. Extra electricity
which is not consumed by the church is fed into the local grid.
Video 2 The 104 solar panels were each hand-transported to the roof as shown in this video
Photo 3: six inverters were installed on steel racking (later enclosed by a locked solid fence to prevent
preschool children from playing in this area). DC voltage from the solar panels is fed into the inverters.
The inverters convert the DC voltage to AC voltage supplied to both the church, and extra power is fed
back into the electrical grid
Photo 4: the hard working crew which installed the solar system
Photo 5: the system specifications for the solar system. 104 panels are collectively rated at 37KW DC
output power. Over the course of a year, this solar system produces about 45 Mega Watt Hours of
power. This is just under the yearly electrical consumption for the church (which houses an active pre-
school). For perspective, a typical household might consume 6 to 10 Mega Watt Hours of electricity per
Photo 6: the solar system powers six large heat pumps to heat and cool a large portion of the church.
Heat pumps were installed in 2021. On the left are 3 of the 6 outside condensers (appear identical to
standard air conditioner units). On the right are two of the six forced air furnaces. The furnaces are
“hybrid”. Heat (or cold) from the outside condensers normally heat (or cool) the church air. However,
the furnaces contain gas burners which provide backup heating of the air on exceptionally cold winter
Photo 7 summarizes savings by the combination of the solar system and the heat pumps. The data
compare to a 2019 baseline. In 2023, the church is estimated to have eliminated 58% of its CO2 Green
house Gas emissions which otherwise would have added to global climate warming. In addition, the
church total gas and electric bill is estimated to be reduced 65%
Photo 8 shows the result of 20 years of continuous work by the church property committee to
weatherize (seal, insulate), change to higher efficiency appliances, run experiments in switching to
renewable electricity from 3 rd party wind, and installation of an earlier small solar system. The BIGGEST
reductions in emissions occurred with the installation of heat pumps in 2021 and solar in 2022. In
addition, the church is fortunate to own about 16 acres of forest (mostly unbuildable land with variable
water table). In 2023, the forest is estimated to SEQUESTER more CO2 than the church is responsible for
emitting. (Church emissions are both direct from burning natural gas for heat, and indirect emissions
from the dirty grid electricity which is ~50% generated by natural gas and then fed to the church)
One final statement about lucrative solar systems in NJ. I calculated savings (not documented here),
over the 25 year life of the new solar system. At a high level, based upon 2023 estimates, the
cumulative NJ solar rebates and expenses saved by generating most of the electricity consumed by the

church, results in savings that MORE THAN PAYS for the combined initial cost of the solar system
installation, the new roof installed just before solar installation, and the 6 new heat pump furnaces. (I
did not factor in the time value of money).

All photos, data analysis, charts and the above narration are created by me (Steve Miller). I have a
masters degree in electrical engineering. I served on the church solar committee which defined
requirements and selected the installer. My wife and I co-lead the UUCMC Climate Action Team. We
are both very involved in climate activism in NJ. We (together with several teams) actively push and pull
NJ toward its goals of 50% GHG reduction by 2030 and 80% to 100% reduction by 2050.

Photo Tour


October 2, 2023
December 30, 2023
Event Category:


Steve Miller


Sustainable Features
Solar PV - Rooftop, Heat Pump(s), Energy Efficiency
System Size (in kW):
Tour Site Type
Religious Institution
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County


Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County
1475 West Front St
Lincroft, NJ 07738 United States
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