Solar for Rural Businesses Workshop Resources – May 7, 2024

man presents to audience in front of screen displaying solar priorities
Ashish Kapoor presents on available solar options. Credit James Bussels/PEC

On May 7, 2024, PEC hosted a workshop called “Solar for Rural Businesses: Accessing Funding for Small-Scale Solar” in Albemarle County. Thanks to all the small business owners and partner organizations who showed up for a great day! Now is an optimal time for small businesses to consider the benefits of participating in the small-scale solar revolution through funding from the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant.

REAP provides up to 50% percent of project costs for the installation of solar systems and energy efficiency improvements such as HVAC, heat pumps and insulation. Add the additional 30% from the Inflation Reduction Act’s Investment Tax Credit plus Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), and that can mean an over 80% reduction in the system cost. These investments save business owners money on energy costs for their operation while positively impacting the local supply of clean energy.  With these incentives, the return on investment can drop to 1-2 years.

Everyone can benefit from more savings, so we hope you found it informative to hear from a range of stakeholders, including the County, who voiced their support for these projects, Powers Farm & Brewery, who shared their experience going solar with REAP, and solar and REAP-certified installers SunDay and Tiger Solar–both of whom have been selected by the USDA to provide free grant writing services for REAP. Thank you also to our event sponsors, including the Climate Protection Office of Albemarle County, Virginia Clinicians for Climate Action, Community Climate Collaborative, American Farmland Trust and Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation District.

Below, please find a list of the presenters, their contact information and links to the day’s presentations. Please feel free to share these materials with anyone else who may be interested in learning about how they can take advantage of this funding opportunity while it is still available.

Have questions? Send an email to Ashish Kapoor

Helpful Solar Resources

Contact Information

The Piedmont Environmental Council
Ashish Kapoor | Senior Energy and Climate Policy Analyst
(540) 347-2334 x7054

Albemarle County, Climate Protection OfficeSolar Ordinance Remarks
Jamie Powers | Climate Protection Project Manager

Solar United NeighborsUSDA REAP, Incentives and Tax Credits                           
Emily Axel | Go Solar REAP Specialist

Powers Brewery Solar on a Brewery
Kevin Powers | Owner

Tiger Solar Solar Installation Process
Russ Edwards | President, Tiger Solar
(434) 293-3763

SunDay Solar Solar Installation Process
Richard Crisler | President, SunDay Solar
(434) 977-4292

Note that we are vendor-neutral, 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Free and informative events like this are only possible with the support of people like you.