Solar Faithful - Michigan Interfaith Power & Light

Solar Faithful

Increasing Solar Access for Faith Communities

Solar Faithful is a faith-based solar power initiative that envisions a world where congregations and faith-based nonprofits are leaders in clean energy adoption.

Our aim is to increase solar access so that congregations can faithfully lead the clean energy revolution. 

We educate staff and congregants, helping to make the connection between how we use energy and how our faith calls us to heal and repair the world. Our educational offering builds an inclusive job training component to engage communities who have been historically excluded in the trades, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities and women. 

Thasin Sardar, an Islamic Center of East Lansing Trustee, helped solarize the mosque in 2019.

Our goal is 50% of arrays will be installed at religious organizations that meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Have predominantly Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) leadership or membership
  • Have predominantly low-income/low-wealth membership, and have an operating budget of $100,000 or less
  • Are of a non-Christian, non-Unitarian faith tradition

Benefits include:

  • 10% savings on the electricity generated by the solar panels
  • $0 upfront cost 
  • Maintenance is provided for 25 years





How long has Solar Faithful been around?

Solar Faithful was launched as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit by Michigan IPL, Chart House Energy, the Climate Witness Project, and other clean energy advocates early in 2023.

How many congregations have participated in Solar Faithful?

As of October 2023, we have completed 6 installations.  We are currently in the planning process with over 60 additional interested organizations.

How are these solar projects financed?

There are 3 options: 

  1. Power Purchase Agreement (PPA): Participating organizations sign a 25-year contract to purchase power generated by the solar array (which is owned by the investors) with an initial rate 10% lower than what they currently pay the utility. Operations and maintenance are provided by Solar Faithful.
  2. Direct Purchase: Participating organization purchases the system with any combination of donations, budget, and borrowing. Solar Faithful can help to identify low-interest lenders. Generally, the best economics for the organization entails more responsibility.
  3. Congregation-Supported Purchase: This model is similar to Direct Purchase but it allows members of the organization to invest in the project by loaning part or all of the purchase amount and earning interest on the loan.

The Refuge Church in Grandville, MI celebrated the installation its solar panels in April of 2023.  Pastor Gerry Koning, when interviewed by FOX 17, expressed that Solar Faithful made going solar simple and affordable for the church:

"When we looked at it, doing it on our own, it was just, you know, insurmountable costs and things like that. And then I heard about Solar Faithful through our denomination, the Christian Reformed Church in North America. And we said, 'Let's look at this possibility,' because there would be no upfront costs at all for us." 

I still have questions! Who can I talk to? 

Please contact Energy Programs Manager, Jennifer Young, at [email protected] or (248) 463-8811 or for more information visit