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Grow Solar Linn County, an education and group purchasing program for solar photovoltaic systems, returns for a second year in the communities of Linn County. This program helps local property owners add solar systems to their properties through community outreach, education, and increasing affordability. Building on the success of the 2017 Solarize Cedar Rapids & Linn County program, a second coordinated group buy in Linn County will educate hundreds of individuals about the financial and environmental benefits of solar power and how to save on solar installations through volume pricing. The group buy is open to all Linn County property owners.
Local partners including the cities of Cedar Rapids, Marion, Mount Vernon, and Center Point along with Linn County, The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, and Indian Creek Nature Center have teamed up with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). A competitive process resulted in the selection of joint proposal by Eagle Point Solar, SiteGen Solar, and Paulsen Electric based on their collective qualifications, history of service, and high-quality solar installations.
Grow Solar Linn County will host a number of free, one-hour long, public education sessions called Solar Power Hours. “This year we’re partnering with key local organizations to help spread the word about the program and host the Solar Power Hour presentations,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director for the MREA. “Attendees will learn how solar energy works, how much a typical solar system costs, what incentives are available and can have their questions about solar answered.”
The first Solar Power Hour will be held at Lowe Park on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:30 p.m. (4500 N. 10th Street, Marion 52302). Solar Power Hours are scheduled through September 2019. The program has a participation deadline of October 31, 2019. The full list of Solar Power Hours is available at growsolarlinncounty.com. All are free and open to the public.
Said Jim Hodina, Linn County Environmental Public Health Manager, “As a co-sponsor of the 2017 Solar Group Buy, we were excited to see over 1 million pounds of CO2 and 280,000 gallons of water offset annually through this adoption of renewable energy. As a participant, I was one of 103 homeowners that collectively saved $70,000 in utility costs our first year.”
The program website, growsolarlinncounty.com, includes the full calendar of Solar Power Hours, a sign-up form for a free home visit, and will be used to announce program updates. The schedule of free, public Solar Power Hours is as follows:
6/25 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Lowe Park – Kickoff Event! 4500 N. 10th Street, Marion, IA
6/27 Thursday 6:30-7:30 p.m. City Services Center 500 15th Ave SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
7/10 Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Downtown Library – Whipple Auditorium 450 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
7/16 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Falcon Civic Center 137 Fourth Street North, Central City, IA 52214
7/17 Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Indian Creek Nature Center 5300 Otis Road SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
7/23 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Fairfax City Hall – Community Room 300 80th Street Court, Fairfax, IA 52228
7/24 Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Marion Public Library 1095 6th Avenue, Marion, IA 52302
7/30 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center, Room 100 1770 Boyson Rd, Hiawatha, IA 52233
8/1 Thursday 6:30-7:30 p.m. New Pioneer Food Co-Op 3338 Center Point Rd NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
8/6 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Springville Buresh Community Room 264 Broadway Street, Springville, IA 52336
8/13 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Mt. Vernon City Hall 213 1st ST NW, Mt. Vernon, IA 52314
8/14 Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Wickiup Hill Learning Center 10260 Morris Hills Road, Toddville, IA 52341
8/20 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Center Point Community Center 720 Main Street Center Point, IA 52213
8/22 Thursday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Linn County Farm Bureau 1323 Boyson Rd Hiawatha, IA 52233
8/27 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center with I-Renew 120 East Boyson Road, Hiawatha, IA 52233
8/29 Thursday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thomas Park Safe Room 343 Marion Boulevard, Marion, IA 52302
9/10 Tuesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Mt. Vernon City Hall 213 1st ST NW, Mt. Vernon, IA 52314
9/18 Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. Indian Creek Nature Center 5300 Otis Road SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.