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The Grow Solar Linn County group purchase program has wrapped up their most successful year to date, surpassing its final benchmark of 350 kilowatts (kW) with 90 properties achieving 734.06 kW of new solar to be installed on properties in Linn County. This year marks the second group purchase program in the area, the first being Solarize Cedar Rapids & Linn County in 2017. The 2019 program has built upon the previous programs’ success, with nearly 1,333 kW of solar installed through the group purchase programs, and have helped nearly 200 properties add solar.
In its second iteration, Linn County, Cedar Rapids, Marion, Mount Vernon, Center Point, The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, Indian Creek Nature Center, Matthew 25/Green Iowa AmeriCorps, and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) launched this bulk solar group purchase program for Linn County residents and businesses in June. The Grow Solar Linn County team facilitated 19 free, educational information sessions called Solar Power Hours, which drew in almost 400 attendees.
Group purchase programs provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in high-quality, renewable energy solar installations with potential savings on installation costs, while also helping businesses reach sustainability goals. Grow Solar Linn County’s grassroots program combines volume purchasing with community education to make solar more accessible and affordable for area property owners. Passing the 350 kW benchmark triggered a discount for program participants averaging $650 per installation.
In their first year of operation, the solar arrays installed through this year’s program will offset 900 tons of CO2 emissions per year, which is equivalent to 400 tons of coal burned and will save an estimated $133,797 in electric bills. This program lead to a local investment of $1.7 million in renewable energy.
“The growth of the program is a clear indication that the environmental and financial benefits of solar technology are making a positive impact in the region. We are proud to be part of the Grow Solar Linn County group purchase program,” stated Larry Steffen, VP of Sales with Eagle Point Solar. Representatives from Eagle Point Solar, the selected installer for the 2019 group purchase, prepared over 260 bids during the course of the summer.
About Linn County Public HealthLinn County Public Health is an agency within Linn County government that works to prevent disease and injury, promote healthy living, protect the environment, and ensure public health preparedness.