Solar co-op launches, helping W.Va. families discover the benefits of solar

WEST VIRGINIA — Today, solar advocates announced the launch of the Tucker, Randolph, and Upshur (TRU) Solar Co-op. The co-op will help West Virginia families discover and access the benefits of solar. 

“Solar provides energy freedom for West Virginians who are burdened by constant rate hikes,” said Leah Barbor, West Virginia Program Director for Solar United Neighbors. “Our co-ops help families and businesses join together, go solar, and fight for their energy rights.”

The nonprofit Solar United Neighbors (SUN) is partnering with West Virginia Rivers Coalition, West Virginia Highland Conservancy, West Virginia Chapter Sierra Club, West Virginia Environmental Council, and West Virginia Citizens Action Group to support this co-op. 

“We are glad to work with WV SUN to expand solar access, create a more equitable energy future, and fight for the rights of WV residents to have fair laws regarding renewable energy,” said Cory Chase,  Director of  West Virginia Highlands Conservancy. 

The co-op makes it easy for homeowners to learn about solar energy and install rooftop solar on their homes. The co-op is free to join. Joining is not a commitment to purchase and install a system. 

“Going solar was one of the best decisions I have made,” said Autumn Crowe, a previous co-op member and Program Director for the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. “Not only am I helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change, but I also reduced my electricity costs. It’s a win-win! Joining the West Virginia Solar United Neighbors co-op helped make that possible.”

​​After a competitive bidding process facilitated by SUN, which remains vendor neutral, co-op members will select a single solar company to complete the installations. Members will have the option to purchase panels based on the installer’s group rate.

“SUN’s solar co-op model gives consumers the best buying power when exploring options for moving to renewable solar to power their homes,” said Gary Zuckett, Executive Director for West Virginia Citizen Action.

“We are excited to partner with Solar United Neighbors,” said Lucia Valentine, Outreach Coordinator for West Virginia Environmental council. “Solar co-ops present opportunities for participants to save money, go solar, and help expand access to renewable energy.”

SUN will host several free information sessions to educate community members about solar energy and the co-op. Individuals interested in going solar can sign up for the co-op or one of the upcoming information sessions at the co-op web page www.solarunitedneighbors.org/TRU.

Informational meetings are planned for the following dates:

  • Wednesday, May 18 at 7:30 PM
  • Thursday, May 26 at 5 PM
  • Wednesday, June 22 at 7 PM
  • Wednesday, July 13 at 7 PM

Sign up or learn more here.

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