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Sustainability

Head to solarizelinncounty.com to sign up for information about the program and see a list of upcoming Solar Power Hour dates.

Overview: 
Solar Group Buys are a tool for scaling solar deployment in a short period of time (June through September) and moving communities toward their sustainability goals. They work by:

  1. Aggregating demand for solar, which lowers solar prices for home and business owners.
  2. Providing up-front customer education, which lowers installer soft costs and leads to a higher-than-average conversion rate for solar leads.

Project Lead:  Midwest Renewable Energy Association serves as project lead and is responsible for:

  • The competitive RFP process that chooses one or more solar installers
  • Coordinating 15-20 Solar Power Hours, educational events that maximize participation and education.

Solar Power Hours:  The cornerstone educational event repeats 15-20 times June through September throughout the County during the Solar Group Buy campaign and teaches solar PV and solar group buy basics and fields questions. 

  • 15-20 Solar Power Hours across Linn County for the public to learn about the Solar Group Buy
  • Process: Interested attendees schedule a site assessment with the Solar Group Buy Solar Installer, then are able to consider further and sign a contract based on the Solar Group Buy pricing if comfortable.  Interested individuals are free to move forward with a different solar installer, though Group Buy pricing will not apply.
  • Attendees at each Solar Power Hour include: Solar Power Hour Facilitator, Solar Installer, and  Alliant Energy representative

Appeal of the Solar Group Buy:  By coordinating a time-limited group buy with educational sessions that teach attendees about solar and provide professional resources, Group Buys are effective tools for quickly scaling home and business solar installments.  A

  • Price breaks: The competitive RFP process selects a reputable solar installer that commits to volumetric price breaks.  Aggregating individual contracts, price breaks are rewarded to participants at 50, 150, 250, and 350kW.
  • Solar Power Hours: 15-20 sessions provide solar education and professional resources in one place.
  • Grassroots energy:  With a 4-month window and participation milestones, Group Buys develop the energy of a grassroots campaign.  Advertising includes yard signs, newsletters, social media, flyers, and word of mouth.

Partners:  Several partners play unique roles in building the credibility and success of a Solar Group Buy:

  • RFP Advisory Team:
  • Ensures RFP language and process meets the community’s interests.
  • Partners: MREA (project lead), City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa 350, Resident
  • Programming Team:
    • Members of organizations with captive audiences that schedule and promote Solar Power Hours
    • Partners: MREA, City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa 350, Green Iowa AmeriCorps
    • Sponsors:
      • Organizations with captive and connected audiences whose brand adds credibility and wide appeal to Solar Group Buy and who help with promotions through social media, newsletters, and as desired
Partners: MREA, City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, Iowa 350, Indian Creek Nature Center, The Nature Conservancy
© 2016  Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 101 First Street SE

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