Polk County Iowa's Grow Solar Program Returns

Electric Solar Panels, home, exterior

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(Des Moines, IA) -- A local program that aims to expand the use of solar energy is back for a second year. The Grow Solar Polk County program allows property owners to save money thru volume purchasing. Last year, about 50 property owners took advantage of the program. Energy savings per home is estimated at around $1,000. Patrick Snell of the Nature Conservancy of Iowa says they hope for at least that many this year, if not more. Organizers are hosting the first of several informational meetings Wednesday, June 21st, at the Franklin Avenue Library in Des Moines from 6-7 p.m.

The program is coordinated by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), 1000 Friends of Iowa, and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa, with promotional support from Polk County, Clive, Granger, Elkhart, Des Moines, Johnston, Urbandale, Pleasant Hill, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights and Ankeny Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Iowans are lowering electricity bills by investing in solar energy, however many barriers remain,” said Patrick Snell with The Nature Conservancy in Iowa. “We are seeing a rise of solar scams across the country and it can be a stressful, time-consuming process to see if solar is right for a home or business. That’s why we continue to be a proud supporter of the Grow Solar program because it accelerates the implementation of low-impact solar energy in Iowa, breaks down those logistical barriers and brings a community together with the professional, educational materials they need.”

Polk County is currently planning for an extensive installation of solar panels on our county facilities. It will save money and help meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said John Norris, Polk County Administrator. “Grow Solar is a great opportunity for homeowners and businesses to save on installation costs, save on energy bills, and contribute to a community-wide effort to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Over the next few months, the program will provide free, one-hour-long educational sessions called “Solar Power Hours” for members of the public. There will be a total of 14 virtual and in-person sessions that will provide prospective participants with information about how solar energy works. Representatives of the program will also be on hand to answer questions. The program’s website, Polk.GrowSolar.org, features more details about obtaining an estimate.

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