Water Missions puts the sun to work

By Stefanie

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The sun shines bright on the new headquarters of Water Missions International located at the former Navy Base in North Charleston.

There you will also find 450 new solar panels with 200 kilowatts of power each-- making for one of the largest solar arrays in the entire state.

"What we've been doing is working on this project for about six months putting the logistics together so we could come down here and build this solar array in one week," Mountain View Solar co-founder, Mike McKechnie. "So it's like a blitz build."

A blitz build with a long-term mission in cutting the electricity bill for the charity's new headquarters so that the money can go towards making clean water instead.

"At the end of the day we expect this will eliminate our power bill so we won't have to pay for electricity anymore," Executive Vice President of Operations at Water Missions, George Greene said.

That means more Living Water treatment equipment throughout the world. The water cleaning systems hold 275 gallons of water and can serve a community of several thousand people.

"The dollars that are saved by these solar panels are going to directly go by putting water in developing nations to save children's lives," McKechnie said.

More than 40 to 90 volunteers came out everyday this week to help lay the groundwork that will help put the sun to work.

"This is a very significant project, its not a small one, its very large and it will have a lot of impact and save more lives," McKechnie said.

The solar array switch will be flipped on for the first time on Friday. The official ribbon cutting ceremony for the Water Missions International headquarters will be on March 22.

The group's annual 'Walk for Water' 5K charity event will be held the following day on March 23 at Cannon Park in Downtown, Charleston.