As the sun rises each day, so does the opportunity to apply its power to our homes and businesses. With more than 200 sunny days in a year, many Missouri residents are choosing to go solar. EarthWays Center’s Grow Solar St. Louis program, in partnership with Midwest Renewable Energy Association and Washington University in St. Louis, helps home and small business owners understand solar power and gain access to more affordable pricing through a group-buy discount program.
In its first year, 71 homes in the St. Louis region went solar through the Grow Solar St. Louis program. These homes added 424 KW of renewable energy throughout St. Louis City and County. Now in its second year, the 2020 Grow Solar St. Louis team has expanded its geographical territory to now include St. Charles County and partnered with sister program Grow Solar Metro East to increase the number of participants in the group-buy discount program, making solar more affordable to all.
Robert McMullen’s new solar system at his home in University City is just one of many that have already helped push the program across the first participation goal line. “We have a series of participation benchmarks, and once we collectively surpass each of them, there’s an increased discount for everyone who participates,” said Glenda Abney, Director of EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden. “The more people who join the program, the lower the price will be for everyone. In addition to the cost-saving benefits of installing renewable resources, solar can help reduce impact on the environment and improve an individual's quality of life.”
"Through Grow Solar I learned that [...] my personal community, University City, was actively involved backing it,” said McMullen. “I liked the idea of a community being involved and that together we are lowering our carbon footprint and reducing global warming. Each homeowner's impact might be small but combined with other people it might make a big difference."
To participate in the Grow Solar St. Louis program, homeowners just need to attend a free virtual Power Hour education session. This session will help residents better understand how solar works, what solar power looks like for their homes, and the financial costs of installing solar through the program. By attending a free Power Hour, participants also get the chance to speak directly with the Grow Solar St. Louis program installer, StraightUp Solar.
Through a competitive selection process, an advisory committee chose St. Louis-based StraightUp Solar as the program’s solar installer. They offer high quality solar installations, hold certifications for solar work, emphasize education and customer service. StraightUp Solar also has an excellent history in working in solar group buy programs and is familiar with the region.
Over the next few months, the Grow Solar St. Louis program will provide several free, hour-long virtual educational sessions for members of the public. These “Solar Power Hours” will give prospective participants information about how solar energy works, an overview of financial costs and incentives, and where to get started in the solar installation process. Sign up today to get started on your solar journey.
The FREE Solar Power Hour presentation schedule is as follows:
For more information on the 2020 Grow Solar St. Louis program visit www.growsolarstl.org.
Live across the river? Don’t worry there’s a program for you. Grow Solar Metro East began in 2016 in Godfrey with the help of local organizations and a partnership between Lewis and Clark Community College and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) and since then has resulted in over 175 local solar installations. Eligibility for Grow Solar Metro East includes Calhoun County in addition to Madison County, St. Clair County, and Monroe County.