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The original item was published from 8/23/2019 11:37:00 AM to 8/22/2020 12:00:03 AM.

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Public Health

Posted on: August 23, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Grow Solar Linn County Reaches Discount Milestone

Solar Group Buy Achieves Discount for Participants, More Time to Join Program

Grow Solar Linn County rolled past its first milestone, over 50kW of residential solar contracted for Linn County.  The milestone triggers a price break for all participants in the program, which remains open until October 31.

The unique solar group buy model came to Iowa in 2017.  Over a 4-month period, nearly 500 residents attended educational “Solar Power Hours” to find out if solar was a good fit for their home or business.  More than 100 homeowners contracted through the program, which became the largest solar group buy program in the Midwest to-date—over 600kW of solar.  The program moved to Johnson County in the summer of 2018 and broke that record with 180 installations. 

The program returns to Linn County this summer at a unique time for solar.  The starting price for Linn County participants in this 2019 group-buy is more than $0.30/W lower than the record-breaking 2017 and 2018 programs.  Additionally, the federal solar tax incentive decreases after this calendar year from 30% to 26%.  The state tax incentive, half of the federal, also decreases. 

The best way for interested Linn County residents to learn about the program is to attend a Solar Power Hour, a one-hour educational session covering the basics of solar and the group-buy model.  Attendees can ask the program’s selected solar installer questions.  If interest remains, get a free quote and site assessment.  Solar Power Hours are scheduled across the County through September. 

 “There were a lot of companies to choose from,” said Brandon Puccio of Marion, “but the Grow Solar Linn County initiative helped make the choice very easy. The Grow Solar Program ensured high quality products along with high quality workmanship. Not only did the Grow Solar program offer great quality, they also offered a great price. Not one company I contacted could match the Grow Solar price.”

Educating Linn County residents on clean energy options is the mission of the partnering organizations.  These partner organizations include Linn County, Cedar Rapids, Marion, Center Point, Mount Vernon, Indian Creek Nature Center, and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa.  Managing the program is the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, a non-profit focused on renewable energy education and training in the Midwest.

“From Community Centers to libraries, we’re trying to meet people where they’re at to help spread the word about the amazing opportunities that exist today with solar,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Director for the MREA. “Between the federal tax credit, which decreases at the end of 2019, the state incentives, and the Grow Solar program discount, there’s never been a better time to go solar in Iowa.”

Solar Power Hour Schedule

8/27 Tuesday 6:30-7:30pm Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center with I-Renew 120 East Boyson Road, Hiawatha

8/29 Thursday 6:30-7:30pm Thomas Park Safe Room 343 Marion Boulevard, Marion

9/5 Thursday 6:30-7:30 pm Christ Episcopal Church 220 40th Street NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

9/10 Tuesday 6:30-7:30pm Mt. Vernon City Hall 213 1st ST NW, Mt. Vernon

9/11 Wednesday 6:30-7:30 pm Matthew 25/Groundswell 201 3rd Avenue NW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52405

9/18 Wednesday 6:30-7:30pm Indian Creek Nature Center 5300 Otis Road SE, Cedar Rapids

9/21 Saturday 10:00-11:00am Downtown Library Whipple Auditorium 450 5th Ave SE, Cedar Rapids

The MREA was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit shortly after the first Energy Fair in 1990. MREA’s mission is to promote renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit


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