Shenandoah Valley residents form solar co-op

earthNeighbors across the Shenandoah Valley have formed the Mountain and Valley Solar Co-op to save money and make going solar easier, while building a network of solar supporters.

The Rockbridge Area Conservation CouncilClimate Action Alliance of the ValleyVirginia Clean CitiesJames Madison University’s Center for Wind Energy and VA SUN are the co-op sponsors.

The group is seeking members and will host three information meetings on March 6 (in Lexington), March 7 (in Verona), and March 8 (in Harrisonburg) to educate the community about solar and the co-op process.

VA SUN expands access to solar by educating Virginians about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Virginia’s solar policies, as well as its community of solar supporters. The group has helped hundreds of Virginians go solar.

“I am excited to work with Rockbridge residents to educate them about the benefits of solar energy,” said Aaron Sutch, VA SUN Program Director. “If you’ve ever thought about going solar before, this is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, and Rockingham County residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up at www.vasun.org/mountain-and-valley. Joining the co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels. Once the group is large enough, VA SUN will help the co-op solicit competitive bids from area solar installers.

Co-op members will select a single company to complete all of the installations. They will then have the option to purchase panels individually based on the installer’s group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save up to 20% off the cost of their system.

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