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More Church Meetinghouses Getting Solar Panels in Australia, South Pacific

An aerial view of Moroni High School in Tarawa, Kiribati. The school has solar panels to reduce energy costs.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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By Mary Richards, Church News

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is installing solar panels in selected meetinghouses in Australia and some South Pacific islands, Pacific Newsroom reported.

Church officials said using renewable energy is part of the Church’s efforts to be good environmental stewards and to cut energy costs.

“God has given us all we have, so we have an obligation to use these resources wisely and to respect the earth,” said Richard Hunter, Church communication director for the Pacific Area.

Solar energy panels are on meetinghouses in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in Australia, and Kiribati, Vanuatu, Tonga, American Samoa, Tahiti, the Cook Islands and New Zealand.

The Church’s engineer in the Pacific Area, David Amende, told Pacific Newsroom the Church is exploring ways to use solar power and reduce energy demand in more meetinghouses.

“The Church has made continued efforts to promote the use of solar PV panels to reduce running costs and energy demand where permitted by local regulations,” Amende said.

Previously, in the United States, the Church unveiled its first solar-powered meetinghouse in the Northern Hemisphere in Farmington, Utah, in April 2010. The building earned Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for implementing elements of “green” design. In May 2011, a new meetinghouse opened in Mesa, Arizona, with 143 rooftop solar panels and other features.

Officials explained at the time that the Church has used energy-saving construction materials and practices since the 1950s.

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