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Solarize Eau Claire Initiative Announced

Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Ned Noel

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Education and bulk purchase opportunity makes solar more affordable

Eau Claire - The sun is shining for homeowners and business owners throughout the Eau Claire metropolitan area as the Solarize Eau Claire program commences this August. The program will  offer free education sessions and allow individual home and commercial property owners to access competitive prices for solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.

The City of Eau Claire, Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC), the County of Eau Claire, the City of Altoona, and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) are supporting the bulk solar group purchase program for residents and businesses in Eau Claire, including in Eau Claire, Dunn, and Chippewa Counties. The program will provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in their own high-quality renewable energy solar installations with potential savings on installation cost, while also helping businesses reach sustainability goals.

"We are really excited to partner with this program. Not only will it make it easier to obtain solar before the 30% tax credit ends this year, but it will also provide our technical college students installation training opportunities, growing the area's clean energy jobs," said Adam Wehling Dean of Agriculture, Energy & Transportation at CVTC.

Over the next few months Solarize Eau Claire and MREA will provide free, one-hour long educational sessions for members of the public. These "Solar Power Hours" are scheduled at various locations and will provide prospective participants with information about how solar energy works. Program representatives will also answer questions. The program's website, SolarizeEauClaire.com, includes a sign-up form on which area residents and business owners can elect to receive an estimate or general program updates and Solar Power Hour announcements.

"Over the past several years we have helped educate thousands of property owners all over the Midwest about solar," said Marta Monti, Solar Program Manager for MREA. "There's a huge demand for information about solar, and folks are learning that it's no longer an inaccessible technology of the future, but rather it's available to them right now."

The program is administered by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) at no cost to the community. This type of program has been successful in other jurisdictions in Wisconsin Illinois, and Iowa, and as seen in Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Cedar Rapids, Urbana-Champaign, Bloomington-Normal, and elsewhere.

Visit the website SolarizeEauClaire.com to learn more about the program.

The Solar Power Hour schedule is as follows:

The MREA was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. MREA'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.