The LWVIC is a supporting member of the Indiana County Solar Co-op. In September, 2018 at our second Sustainable Economy Summit, Henry McKay from Solar United Neighbors presented on the concept and benefits of Solar Co-Ops in Pennsylvanian communities. In response, Peter Broad of Indiana Borough Council stood up and said, “We want that here in Indiana!” The Co-op formed in Indiana with about 70 people coming to the initial meeting to talk about the Co-op. Since then, the Solar Co-Op has become so successful that installations are still going up. By the end of the contract-signing period, the first Solar Co-Op had over 90 participants and 20 signed installation contracts. This exceeds the success of any other Co-Op in the state, with the runner-ups including the Upper Ohio Valley Co-op with 64 participants and 8 installations, and Allegheny County Co-Op with 51 participants and 10 installations. Over the next 25 years, it is projected that the members of the Indiana Solar Co-Op will save well over $1 million, and will reduce their carbon emissions by 5.2 million lbs.
Solar United Neighbors hosted its second annual Pennsylvania Solar Congress last Saturday (Feb 15th), in Blairsville at the Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort & Conference Center. Blairsville was selected as the location for the event due to the overwhelming success of Indiana County’s Solar Co-Op, and because planners for the event hoped Blairsville’s proximity to Allegheny and Westmoreland County would attract individuals from across southwest PA. The conference included lunch, an electric car show, training sessions, a book signing, informative presentations, and breakout sessions. Over 150 people were in attendance; the event ended with a post-congress happy hour.
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