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A Davis County church is getting some extra help from the heavens.

Centerville's Episcopal Church of the Resurrection now boasts 96 solar panels, supplying 47,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year. That's enough juice to virtually erase the congregation's $8,500 annual power bill.

And with those freed-up funds, the Rev. Lyn Z. Briggs, the church's vicar, envisions being able to do even more to advance "God's work."

"This is a means to our mission," she said Friday. "We're called to protect God's creation, and then we can move on to other parts of God's mission."

The new array was the brainchild of worshippers in her small congregation of about 100 members — some with solar panels already on their homes.

"We have a south-facing church," Briggs said, "and we've got the perfect slope on our roof for solar panels."

So the congregants went to work trying to make it all happen.

Rocky Mountain Power's Blue Sky provided a $42,300 grant, covering more than half the installation tab. Church members and other donors chipped in about $29,000 to match that gift and provide additional funding.

A year and a half later, with the flip of a switch last week, the panels began operating.

The array is "a fantastic opportunity to let our light shine throughout the community," Briggs said in a news release. "We can partner with the local community and schools by inviting them to see our project and how solar energy works.

"Our community," she added, "will see that we are living our values as a Christian congregation who wants to protect the Earth."

The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection is one of more than 30 congregations belonging to the Utah Interfaith Power & Light coalition, whose stated goal is to "inspire, educate and collaborate with faith communities to promote Earth stewardship, clean energy and climate justice."

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