Huntington residents look to go solar

West Virginia Solar United Neighborhoods, or WV SUN, is a non-profit with the goal of cleaner, renewable energy across West Virginia. On Monday night at the Explorer Academy in Huntington, more than 50 people came to an informational meeting about changing their personal source of electricity.

Since October, WV SUN Solar Co-Op Coordinator Autumn Long has toured West Virginia to educate people on the benefits of solar energy.

“The co-op is a great opportunity to demonstrate how solar energy can help our communities be more self-sufficient,” Long said.

Co-Ops have been conducted in Morgantown, Wheeling, Charleston, Lewisburg and Beckley. The Parkersburg area of the Mid-Ohio Valley is generating a Co-Op for the summer months.

The Co-Op is three sessions: the basics of solar power, the “nuts and bolts” of installation and finances.

Huntington resident Jason Brown of Secure Construction is interested in the business aspect of solar energy.

“Solar is happening,” Brown said. “Solar production at the residential level is increasing every year and the cost of production is going down.”

Brown said he has “reservations” on the price that WV SUN advertises.

“Take this as a grain of salt. This energy is very new to this area,” Brown said.

Carin Clark said it is always going to be cheaper to go with the electric company.

“A solar panel is not much as a financial choice, but more as a social, personal choice. You are never going to make your money back in solar,” Clark said.

Across the United States over 16,000 homes and 90 Co-Ops have happened.

Sadie Helmick can be contacted at [email protected].