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McLean County Goes Solar with MREA Group Buy Program

Posted in news, and Uncategorized

CONTACT: Peter Murphy, 414-988-7963, [email protected]

Solar Bloomington-Normal McLean County, IL – March 22, 2016 – The Ecology Action Center (EAC) of Normal, IL, is partnering with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) to bring their solar group buy program to the Bloomington-Normal area. MREA’s program will work with home, business, and farm owners throughout McLean County to lower their electricity bills by making solar more accessible through the power of volume purchasing. “This is an exciting opportunity to expand solar in McLean County, lower energy bills for participants and expand our community’s sustainability efforts,” said Michael Brown, Executive Director for the Ecology Action Center.

The Solar Bloomington-Normal group buy program will offer multiple free, public, one-hour long informational sessions known as Solar Power Hours. The program is based on educating community members about their solar options. Navigating the solar market can be intimidating for some. MREA and partners work to provide free information sessions to community members to answer any and all questions when it comes to installing solar. “We encourage all interested individuals to attend a Solar Power Hour and benefit from a presentation that provides the kind of information on solar that would take an individual days or weeks to research otherwise,” said Peter Murphy, Market Development Coordinator for the MREA.

The first Solar Power Hour will be held at 1:00pm on Saturday, April 9, 2016, at the Illinois Sustainable Living and Wellness Expo at the Illinois Wesleyan University Shirk Center. Several Solar Power Hours will occur in the months leading up to the participation deadline of July 31, 2016, all are free and open to the public.

A solar group buy is an innovative and collaborative approach for bringing solar to communities. The Solar Bloomington-Normal Group Buy Program focuses outreach and informational sessions in Bloomington and Normal; however, the program is available for home, business, and farm owners anywhere in McLean County.

The MREA has managed several successful solar group buys since the program’s start in 2013. Most recent success can be seen with Champaign County’s Solar Urbana-Champaign program, which recently surpassed its 100 kW goal of clean solar energy to be installed. Solar Bloomington-Normal is an extension of this program and will utilize StraightUp Solar, the Bloomington-based solar installer, chosen through the program’s competitive bid process. “The EAC is excited to work with MREA on this group buy program to boost the use of solar energy in our region, and help our environment and our residents benefit from renewable energy,” said Brown.

The Solar Bloomington-Normal program enables residents to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local energy security through the generation of renewable energy while simultaneously conserving energy and reducing long-term energy costs at their homes or businesses.

More information about the group buy and to sign up for updates, visit the Solar Bloomington Website. The second Solar Bloomington-Normal session will occur at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 18, at the Marriott in Uptown Normal.

The Solar Bloomington-Normal Group Buy Program is brought to you by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), with support from promotional partner the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative.

The MREA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization. Founded in 1990, the MREA promotes renewable energy and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit the Midwestern New website.