Renovus spreading the word about its community solar efforts with another series of info sessions

February 25, 2016 by Mark H. Anbinder

Renovus Solar, which recently brought its first community "solar farm" online, is hosting another series of informational meetings about the project, with dates planned in Tompkins County through March and beyond. The community solar initiative is geared toward making clean, affordable solar power available to everyone, not just homeowners with ideal sites.

Emma Hewitt of Renovus says the community solar farm model, whereby the company builds shared solar arrays on behalf of multiple owners, "has truly transformed the possibilities for who can go solar and how, eliminating one of the main barriers that have kept many people locked out from making the switch."

It's a reflection of the fact that not all homes are suitable for solar generation; many have trees or other objects leaving enough of the home's roof or open land in shade for enough of the day that solar collection isn't effective. Many other area residents who'd like to benefit from solar energy are renting, and can't add solar collection equipment to their homes.

"The reality is that going solar is no longer just an environmentally and socially responsible decision," Hewitt tells us. "The base costs have come down such that when combined with the incentives available it’s become extremely financially compelling. 

"We’ve had great response to our Community Solar Initiative," she says. "We’ve held meetings in Tompkins County, but also the wider region, going to places like Horseheads, Corning, Watkins Glen, Canandaigua, Cortland, Syracuse, and beyond."

Hewitt says "the Q&A section of the presentations are often the most interesting part of the program," and the company has "honed our presentation over time as many of the same questions come up region to region, so we've now built many of the answers in."

"We encourage anyone interested in solar, or the industry, or who wants to know about the changing energy landscape to come out to the presentations, even if they don’t think they want to or can go solar," she adds.

Dozens came to Ithaca Beer for the first presentation about the community solar initiative last summer. 14850 Photo.Dozens came to Ithaca Beer for the first presentation about the community solar initiative last summer. 14850 Photo.The first information session in the new series is at 6pm on Thursday, February 25th at Hopshire Farm and Brewery in Freeville. Other upcoming sessions will be on March 15th at the Space at GreenStar, March 22nd at Ithaca Beer, and March 26th at Rogues Harbor.

A little farther from Ithaca are events at the Guernsey Memorial Library in Norwich at 6pm on March 29th and the Vestal Public Library at 6pm on March 31st.

More details are available at

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