Cedar Rapids & Linn County bulk solar purchase program reaches first goal

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Bill and Peggy Freeburg signed a contract on July 27 to install a 7.25 kilowatt (kW) solar array on their Cedar Rapids home.

Homeowners across Linn County are participating in the Solarize Cedar Rapids & Linn County program, which allows individual homeowners to access lower prices for solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.

The Freeburgs’ solar array puts the program past its first of four benchmarks, triggering a rebate from the solar installer, Moxie Solar.

“At the benchmarks of 50 kW, 150 kW, 250 kW, and 350 kW, everyone in the program gets a rebate,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Manager at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA). “In other words, the more people who participate, the lower the cost for all.”

“It felt like the right time,” said Peggy Freeburg. “We had thought about going solar in the past but didn’t know where to start. The solarize program made it straightforward.”

“Solar isn’t a future technology anymore. It’s happening today. The more we can do to clear up misconceptions and help people understand how it works and the costs involved, the better,” Murphy said.

The City of Cedar Rapids, Linn County, The Nature Conservancy, Indian Creek Nature Center, and Iowa 350 support the stand-alone bulk solar group purchase program for residents in Linn County.

They say the program will reduce carbon emissions while providing residents with the opportunity to purchase their own high quality renewable energy solar installation.

The program is administered by the MREA at no cost to the city or the county.

Through September, MREA will provide free, public, one-hour long educational sessions called Solar Power Hours for prospective participants to learn how solar energy works and to answer questions.

The program’s website, SolarizeLinnCounty.com, includes a signup form which will be used to announce Solar Power Hour sessions and communicate program updates.

Interested homeowners have until September 30 to participate in the program.