MREA Kicks Off Solar Group Buy in Chippewa Valley
Businesses and homeowners of Chippewa Valley are partnering with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to go solar with MREA’s successful Solar Group Buy purchasing model. The education-based program will work with home and business owners throughout Chippewa Valley to lower their electricity bills by making solar more accessible through the power of volume purchasing as a community. The first two information sessions, termed “Solar Power Hours,” have already attracted over 70 attendees. More Power Hours are scheduled in the coming months before the program’s deadline of December 31, 2016.
The MREA’s Group Buy Program has helped many other communities go solar affordably, and was recognized for its work on bringing Solar to Milwaukee area communities at RENEW WI’s Energy Policy Summit as one of the “Ten to remember: Innovative Initiatives, Partnerships, Collaborations”. The program’s education-based approach makes it easy for participants to navigate the process of going solar.
“Our goal, plain and simple, is to see more solar installations in our community,” said Ellen and Steve Terwilliger, citizen action members of Chippewa Valley Affordable Solar, a partner on the program. “We are excited to embark on the Solar Group Buy and put the sun to work for all of us.”
“The Eau Claire area is ready for a solar program like this,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Manager for MREA. “We are excited to replicate the successes we’ve seen elsewhere in this market.” The MREA has helped facilitate similar programs in Urbana, Illinois and Milwaukee, leading to over 200 new solar installations over the past several years. “Solar can be complex, though,” Murphy said. “It’s important for folks to get the up-front education from a Solar Power Hour so they can determine whether solar is right for them.”
MREA encourages all interested individuals to attend an upcoming Solar Power Hour. The next one will be held September 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the CVTC Energy Education Center located at 4000 Campus Drive in Eau Claire. All Power Hours are free and open to the public. These information sessions provide information on the process of going solar in its entirety, covering everything from basics of solar technology to navigating incentives, program discounts, and working with municipalities and utilities.
Through the program’s advisory committee and competitive bid process, Able Energy Company has been selected as the program’s installer. Able Energy will provide free site assessments for interested parties, perform code-compliant installations, and take care of all necessary paperwork regarding interconnection with the utility.
The Solar Chippewa Valley Group Buy Program enables residents to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local energy security through renewable energy, while simultaneously conserving energy and reducing long-term energy costs at their homes or businesses. The program’s deadline for participation is December 31, 2016. All installations will be completed by December 31, 2017.
The MREA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization. Founded in 1990, the MREA promotes renewable energy and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.
Power Hour Schedule:
September 6, 6:30 pm. CVTC Energy Education Center. 4000 Campus Drive, Eau Claire
September 17, 4pm, Sustainable Future Fest, Eau Claire. sustainablefuturefest.com/index.html
September 28, 6:30 pm Lazy Monk Brewery, 97 West Madison Street, Eau Claire
October 3, 6:30 pm. CVTC Energy Education Center. 4000 Campus Drive, Eau Claire
October 20, 6:30 pm. CVTC Energy Education Center. 4000 Campus Drive, Eau Claire
November 1, 6:30 pm Lazy Monk Brewery, Eau Claire, 97 West Madison Street, Eau Claire
December 6, 6:30 pm. Lazy Monk Brewery, Eau Claire, 97 West Madison Street, Eau Claire