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The sun is shining for homeowners and business owners in the Waukee, Iowa area, as the Solarize Waukee program is set to commence this April. The program will allow individual home and commercial property owners to access competitive prices for solar installations through the power of volume purchasing.
The City of Waukee, the Nature Conservancy in Iowa, Waukee Aspiring Professional Experience (APEX) and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) are supporting the bulk solar group purchase program for residents and businesses located anywhere within the Waukee Community School District boundaries; this covers Waukee and portions of West Des Moines, Clive and Urbandale. The program will provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in their own high-quality renewable energy solar installations with potential savings on installation cost, while also helping businesses reach sustainability goals.
“Having solar energy as an affordable option for residents and business owners should be a real asset in Waukee,” said Waukee Mayor Bill Peard. “We’ve seen an uptick in solar usage lately, especially in commercial projects. The City certainly supports efforts to seek out forms of renewable energy.”
Over the next few months, MREA, the City of Waukee and Waukee APEX will provide free, one-hour long educational sessions for members of the public. These “Solar Power Hours” are scheduled at various locations and will provide prospective participants with information about how solar energy works. MREA representatives will also be on hand to answer questions. The program’s website, SolarizeWaukee.com, features 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.
“Low-impact technology, like rooftop solar, is leading to a cleaner, cheaper and more efficient energy future, but it can be difficult and time-consuming figuring out if solar is right for a home or business,” said Patrick Snell, External Affairs Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy. “We’re a proud supporter of this program because it breaks down the logistical barriers and brings a community together with the professional and educational materials they need.”
The program is administered by the MREA at no cost to the communities. This type of program has been successful in other jurisdictions in Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois; cities include Cedar Rapids, Milwaukee, Urbana-Champaign, Bloomington-Normal and more.
“Over the past several years we have helped educate thousands of property owners all over the Midwest about solar,” said Peter Murphy, Solar Program Manager for MREA. “There’s a huge demand for information about solar, and folks are learning that it’s no longer an inaccessible technology of the future, but rather it’s available to them right now.”
Students participating in Waukee APEX will also help with promotion and delivering some of the educational presentations.
“As a workforce development program, APEX is focused on equipping our aspiring professionals for high-need careers,” said Tyler Wright, APEX Instructor. “Photovoltaic installation is one of the fastest growing jobs in America, so it's exciting that APEX is able to work with Solarize Waukee and the MREA on this authentic learning experience.”
The Solar Power Hour events scheduled at Waukee locations are as follows: