The second annual West Virginia Solar Congress was held on Saturday, June 24, at the beautiful campus of Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College in Moorefield, WV. The event was organized and hosted by WV SUN, the leading organization helping towns and communities in West Virginia understand solar energy and develop renewable energy projects to help sustain our local economies.

The event kicked off with a welcome from Karan Ireland, the WV SUN Program Director, and Autumn Long, WV SUN Solar Co-op Coordinator. The opening remarks helped lay the groundwork for an informative and educational conference featuring eight various workshops. Other speakers included Xavier Walter and Emmett Pepper of Energy Efficient West Virginia, Hannah Vargason of the Conservation Fund’s Natural Capital Investment Fund, and Cathy Kunkel, of Kunkel Energy Research.

Perhaps one of the most educational presentations was given by Colin Williams, Vice President of Mountain View Solar, and Doyle Tenney of DT Solar. Their panel discussion on the future of battery storage helped inform attendees on the increasingly important role of battery storage in solar energy. To help put this important statistic into perspective: “There is enough sunlight striking the Earth’s surface in just one hour to deliver enough energy to power the world economy for an entire year.” However, without a way to store that energy, we are unable to capitalize on this energy source. The session included additional information on how homeowners and companies can capitalize on solar energy to help their efficiency and bottom line.

Karan Ireland concluded the event with an open forum discussion on the conference and information discussed. One such topic included how Solar can work together with our state’s other resources to not only help with energy efficiency, but also help create jobs for West Virginians. This topic is one of the driving forces for the West Virginia Energy Expo, helping to educate and inform our state on all the various forms of energy within the state, and how we can help our state remain as one of the top energy producing states in the country.

Additional Solar events are being scheduled for the near future, including the Solar-Powered Music Festival, held July 7-8, 2017, in Fayetteville, WV, and a Solar Open House on July 15, 2017, in Morgantown, WV.

For more on WV SUN, be sure to visit their website at www.wvsun.org.

For more on Energy Efficient WV, please visit www.eewv.org.

For more on Mountain View Solar, please visit their website at www.MTVsolar.com.

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