Middle Peninsula residents invited to join solar cooperative
Middle Peninsula residents who are interested in solar energy have an opportunity to join a solar cooperative that organizers say will make going with the renewable energy source easier and less costly.
The Hampton Roads Solar Tour Group and Virginia Solar United Neighborhoods, or VA SUN, are the co-op sponsors. They will have an informational meeting about solar energy and the co-op process at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 12, at the Glenns campus of Rappahannock Community College.
Gloucester resident Tom Crockett and his wife Susan are members of Hampton Roads Solar Tour Group. Tom Crockett said in a press release that the group is excited to be partnering with VA SUN to support the co-op.
“The co-op approach is a great way for folks to learn about solar energy, to save money on their own installations, to obtain assistance throughout the process, and to feel confident in the end result,” he said.
His own home employs passive solar, solar hot water, and a photovoltaic system to convert light directly into electricity. The system produces as much electricity as the family uses. Crockett designed the house himself in the 1980s with the help of an architect.
VA SUN has helped hundreds of Virginians go solar, said the press release. The organization provides educational information on the benefits of distributed solar energy, helps organize group solar installations, and works to strengthen Virginia’s solar policies.
VA SUN program director Aaron Sutch said that this is the perfect opportunity for people who have been thinking about installing solar power to do so. Interested residents may join the co-op, and when the group is large enough, VA SUN will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers. Co-op members will then be able to select a company to complete all of the installations, thereby saving up to 20 percent of the cost of each system, said the release.
Signing up to join the group is not a commitment to purchase panels, said the release, but members will have the option to purchase panels based on the installer’s group rate.
For more information and to sign up for the co-op, visit www.vasun.org.