RER Energy Group Reduces Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Electrical
Costs by 85% through Solar Barn Raising Project
RER’s experience in solar finance and project development allowed MCC to construct an
array to reduce their electricity costs by an estimated $100,000 over the life of the array.
Reading, Pennsylvania – RER Energy Group (RER) marked the installation of a 44.85 kW
photovoltaic solar array at the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) headquarters located in Ephrata, PA.
The MCC was motivated to pursue solar as a source of energy that is in harmony with nature and would allow them to save money that could be allocated to their core mission of relief, development and peace building around the globe. In addition to electrical cost savings, the array will eliminate the equivalent of approximately 640 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over its 30+ year lifespan.
Bruce Campbell-Janz, the Executive director of the MCC shared: “We have a strong commitment at MCC to acting sustainably and caring for God’s creation. We appreciate the quality workmanship provided by RER Energy Group on the installation as well as their willingness to work with MCC volunteers to build the solar array.”
THE BARN RAISING PROCESS, APPLIED TO SOLAR
Historically, Anabaptists, specifically Amish, have promoted the barn raising model, where the community
comes together to do the lion’s share of the work in raising a new barn structure for one of their members;
and they do it all in one day. Using the same community supported process, a group of volunteers assembled
to construct the solar array on a flat roof building, contributing a significant part of the manual labor in
building MCC’s Solar PV System.
This barn raising received a $5,000 grant for technical assistance and other project costs from the
Department of Energy’s SunShot Program “Solar in Your Community Challenge”. The grant will also help
to underwrite the cost of solar panel installations at four other Mennonite-affiliated sites. They include a
thrift shop and a church, both in Virginia, and two other sites yet to be chosen.
Rodney Rose, who led this project for RER, described how a community-anchored project like this one for
MCC came to fruition; “RER has always been dedicated to building long-term relationships with our clients.
In this case, a board member of the MCC introduced us to Dennis Kready, the facility’s Operations &
Maintenance Director. They had been exploring solar for nearly two years, but needed a solar company that
could both manage the project’s physical construction and develop a business model ensuring the project
would meet both its construction budget, and its long-term financial goals.”
“In addition,” Mr. Rose shared, “RER supported the use of the talented and caring human resources they
had in the local Amish community. Those volunteers helped to offset construction costs so more of the
savings could go to the mission of the MCC. That community commitment is what sets this project apart
from many others we’ve completed, and RER’s support of that approach is what set us apart from other
solar companies MCC had considered.”
About Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)
MCC is a global, nonprofit organization that strives to share God’s love and compassion for all through relief,
development and peace. In all our programs we are committed to relationships with our local partners and
When responding to disasters we work with local groups to distribute resources in ways that minimize
conflict. In our development work we plan with community and church groups to make sure the projects meet
their needs. And we advocate for policies that will lead to a more peaceful world. For more information visit
About RER Energy Group
RER Energy Group is an industry leader in providing cost-effective, high-quality solar systems throughout the United States and Latin America. The company has developed more than 55 megawatts of solar energy, obtaining over $30 million in grant proceeds for commercial, industrial, agricultural, municipal, and non-profit customers. For more information, visit www.rerenergygroup.com.