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Incredible time-lapse video shows church's effort to keep its congregation cool: 'Another successful project'

Plankton Energy and Faith Community Church are taking a page from France's book.

New York solar provider Plankton Energy

Photo Credit: Plankton Energy / Linkedin

New York solar provider Plankton Energy just provided a time-lapse video of its project in the parking lot of Faith Community Church in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

Solar energy is one of the most plentiful sources of non-polluting, environmentally friendly electricity. As the technology has continued to develop, it's become cheaper and more accessible, which has increased its popularity.

Installing solar panels is an extremely effective way to bring down the electric bill for a property. It also reduces the need for dirty energy from sources like oil and coal, which release heat-trapping gases into the air and raise the Earth's temperature. It's a smart choice both financially and environmentally.

One of the cleverest applications for solar panels is to turn them into shade structures. The area beneath is protected from the heat, while the panels absorb the unwanted sunlight and convert it into electricity. India has been using this method to cool down water canals and reduce evaporation, while France has begun to require it in parking lots.

Now Plankton Energy and Faith Community Church are taking a page from France's book. In the video from July, which was shared on LinkedIn, the company can be seen building six huge shade structures over the church's parking lot, each one topped with an unbroken sheet of solar panels.

By the end, the stunning array shades the cars underneath, while also generating power. According to another post by Plankton Energy, the setup will generate 700 kilowatts, which it said "will benefit low-income customers in the Greater Boston area through the Massachusetts community solar program." 

Community solar makes energy generated by solar panels available to homes without their own solar setup, so they can benefit from and subsidize solar installations elsewhere.

"Very cool," said a commenter on the video. "Congratulations on another successful project for the Plankton team!"

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