The Missouri Botanical Garden and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), in partnership with Washington University and their regional climate change efforts, are supporting a bulk solar group purchase program for residents and businesses in the City of St. Louis, Clayton, Maplewood, Richmond Heights, and University City. The program will provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in their own high-quality renewable energy solar installations while saving on installation costs through a competitive bid process coupled with state and federal tax incentives. Program promotions and educational events will occur in the areas listed, but all St. Louis City and County homeowners in the region are eligible to apply if they attend an informational session. Over the next few months the Garden and MREA will provide several free, one-hour long educational sessions for members of the public. These “Solar Power Hours” will give prospective participants information about how solar energy works, the financial implications, how solar group buy programs are effective and more.
Program representatives will also answer questions. The program’s website, GrowSolarSTL.org, includes a sign-up form on which area residents and business owners can elect to receive an estimate or general program updates and Solar Power Hour announcements.
“We are always looking for effective programs in the community to help advance our clean air, water and soil initiatives to positively affect plant conservation,” said Glenda Abney, Director of Sustainability and EarthWays Center at the Garden. “This solar group buy program will do that by reducing the need for other resources to produce energy. The program is designed to help local property owners add solar arrays and systems to their properties through community outreach and education, one of our specialties. And the group buy program will help lower the price of solar through the volume purchasing. We also like that this program reinforces the need for buildings to be energy efficient before they add renewable capacity.”
The solar installer for Grow Solar St. Louis was selected through a competitive request for proposals process reviewed by an advisory committee looking at professional certification, experience and price. The committee chose StraightUp Solar, based in St. Louis. They have high quality solar installations, are NABCEP credentialed, emphasize customer service, are very familiar with the region, and have excellent history in working in solar group buy programs.
The Free Solar Power Hour Presentation schedule is as follows, refer to the website for additional dates to be added:
- August 20, Tuesday, 6-7pm at Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust St, St. Louis, MO
- August 21, Wednesday, 6-7pm at Gezellig Beer Bar, 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, MO
- August 22, Thursday, 6-7pm at Urban Chestnut in the Grove, 4465 Manchester Ave. St. Louis, MO
- August 27, Tuesday, 6-7pm at Sqwires Restaurant and Annex, 1415 S 18th St, St. Louis, MO
- September 5, Thursday, 6-7pm at Our Lady of the Holy Cross, 8115 Church Rd, St. Louis, MO
- September 10, Tuesday, 6-7pm at Urban Chestnut in the Grove, 4465 Manchester Ave. St. Louis, MO
- September 12, Thursday, 6-7pm at Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, MO
- September 18, Wednesday, 6-7pm at Sqwires Restaurant and Annex, 1415 S 18th St., St. Louis, MO
- October 8, Tuesday, 6-7pm at Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave, Maplewood, MO
- October 10, Thursday, 6-7pm at Heman Park Community Center, 975 Pennsylvania Ave., St. Louis, MO
- October 15, Tuesday, 6-7pm at Urban Chestnut in the Grove, 4465 Manchester Ave. St. Louis, MO
- October 16, Wednesday, 6-7pm at Sqwires Restaurant and Annex, 1415 S. 18th, St. Louis, MO
- October 23, Wednesday, 6-7pm at Washington University Schnuck Pavilion, 1 Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO
- October 24, Thursday, 7-8:30pm at Missouri Sierra Club, 2818 Sutton Ave., St. Louis, MO
- October 29, Tuesday, 6-7pm at University City Library, 6701 Delmar Blvd., University City, MO
- October 30, Wednesday, 6-7pm at Central Print, 2624 N 14th St., St. Louis, MO
- Nov. 6, Wednesday, 6-7pm at Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave., Maplewood, MO
Sign up and learn more at GrowSolarSTL.org.