Empowerment Temple, a predominantly Black megachurch in Baltimore’s Park Heights area, is a place neighbors can often go for free meals, school supplies, and drive-thru COVID-19 tests. Soon, they’ll also be able to visit the long, beige building to charge cell phones, refrigerate medications, and cool off (or warm up) during the next power outage.
City and state agencies are providing hundreds of thousands of dollars to equip the Maryland church and other facilities with solar panels and battery storage systems — creating “resiliency hubs” that serve vulnerable communities following extreme weather events or grid failures.
“A hallmark of our ministry is, ‘How can we help people in distressed situations?’” said Anthony Robinson, a church member and leader of the nonprofit Economic Empowerment Coalition, which is helping implement the clean energy project. “We see this as an opportunity to be of service to the broader community.”
Construction is set to start this month on a 120-kilowatt rooftop solar array, which will supply electricity to banks of batteries at the church. Should tornadoes and flash floods knock down the grid — ... Read more