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Statewide solar supporters to join together at OHIO for Solar Congress on March 9

OHIO Compass staff
February 28, 2019

Solar energy supporters from across Ohio will gather Saturday, March 9 for the Ohio Solar Congress. Sponsored by non-profit Solar United Neighbors in partnership with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, the Congress will provide attendees with a series of informational presentations and interactive workshops that cover a variety of solar-related topics. The event is free and open to the public. An RSVP is encouraged

“The Solar Congress welcomes all solar supporters, whether you are a novice, expert, or somewhere in between,” said Luke Sulfridge, Solar United Neighbors of Ohio Program Director. “It’s a great opportunity to learn, share stories, and celebrate solar in Ohio.”

This marks the fourth year Solar United Neighbors has hosted a Solar Congress in Ohio and the first time the event has been hosted in Athens. Solar has strong community support in Athens County; it has more installed solar per capita than any county in the state.

“The State of Ohio, and the Appalachian region in particular, has been seeing a gradual shift away from coal to other sources of electricity generation,” said Ohio University Assistant Professor of Practice Dr. Gilbert Michaud. “This event will focus on one such innovative solution – solar – as an energy source to meet the demands of our future.”

Session topics range from a basic “solar 101” information session to discussions about battery storage and expanding solar access in low-income communities. Over the lunch-hour there will be an electric vehicle showcase where owners will answer questions about their experience owning an electric vehicle.

Solar United Neighbors has helped hundreds of Ohio homeowners go solar through its solar co-op programs. Solar co-op participants work together to learn about solar technology and solicit bids from local installers. This year’s Solar Congress in Athens coincides with the Appalachian Ohio Solar and EV Charger Co-op. That group is actively seeking participants to join.

What:     
Ohio Solar Congress

When:    
Saturday, March 9
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where:          
Ohio University, Baker University Center
Baker University Center Theater and Rooms 240 and 242
1 Park Place
Athens, OH 45701

MEETING AGENDA

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Doors open, registration, breakfast (provided) – Baker University Center Theater Lobby (2nd Floor)

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Welcome remarks: The State of Solar in Ohio – Baker University Center Theater (2nd Floor)

  • Luke Sulfridge, Solar United Neighbors of Ohio
  • Special Remarks by Voinovich School Associate Dean & Professor Dr. Geoff Dabelko
     

10:40 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Session 1 Presentations:
Solar 101 – Baker University Center, Room 240
Learn about how solar works and how you can go solar by joining a local solar co-op.

  • Matt Bearzotti, Solar United Neighbors


Ohio University Voinovich School’s Research on Solar Energy – Baker University Center Theater
A panel of Voinovich School faculty, staff, students, and alumni will discuss lessons learned from small-scale, community, and utility solar energy research on and around campus.

  • Facilitated by Gilbert Michaud, PhD, Assistant Professor of Practice, Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Ohio University


Community Dialogue to Achieve Equitable Solar in All Communities (Must attend Sessions A & B) – Baker University Center, Room 242
The Equity Committee of the Ohio Energy Table invites you to join them in a dialogue.This is the second of such talks that are happening around the state.

  • Ohio Energy Table Equity Committee
     

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Session 2 Presentations:
Rural Electric Co-ops – Baker University Center, Room 240
Learn about Rural Electric Cooperatives and engaging with them to improve policy for members and solar generators.

  • David Carpenter, Research Scientist and Educator


Electric Vehicle and Charger Panel Discussion – Baker University Center Theater (2nd Floor)
Join experts from electric charger companies and electric car experts to learn about what is available and discuss the state of electrification in Ohio’s transportation sector.

Community Dialogue to Achieve Equitable Solar in All Communities (Must attend Sessions A & B) – Baker University Center, Room 242
The Equity Committee of the Ohio Energy Table invites you to join them in a dialogue. This is the second of such talks that are happening around the state.

  • Ohio Energy Table Equity Committee
     

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Lunch (provided), informal networking – Baker University Center Theater Lobby (2nd Floor)

1:00 p.m.
Electric Vehicle Showcase – Baker University Center Surface Parking Lot
Check out different electric vehicles and talk with electric vehicle owners.

1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Session 3 Presentations:
Working with the media to advocate for solar. – Baker University Center, Room 240
Learn effective techniques in speaking the media, writing and utilizing new media.

  • Krile Communications


The PUCO and Rate Design and the Value of Solar – Baker University Center Theater (2nd Floor)
For most Ohioans, the PUCO determines what you pay for electricity and how your solar is valued. Learn from one of our partner advocates how rates are approved.

  • Miranda Leppla, Clean Energy Attorney at the Ohio Environmental Council


The Re-Power Wall – Baker University Center, Room 242
Learn how a local group is working to recycle batteries to create residential storage systems.

  • Appalachian Renewable Energy Consumers Cooperative
     

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Participatory Open Forum Discussion about solar priorities and opportunities in Ohio – Baker University Center Theater (2nd Floor)

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Closing remarks – Baker University Center Theater (2nd Floor)