Planning, Development and Sustainability

The Grow Solar Linn + Johnson Counties solar group buy has surpassed its third milestone of 300 collective kilowatts (kW), thanks to commitments totaling 307 kW from 32 property owners in Linn and Johnson counties. The participants are “going solar” to save money and get clean energy.

Only one online educational session remains for this limited-time program that helps people learn about solar and consider it for their property. Sign-up for the 4 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24 Solar Power Hour is available at

The program, which provides competitive solar pricing through volume purchasing, met the second of four goals just earlier this month, said Becky Soglin, Johnson County’s sustainability coordinator.

“Grow Solar Linn + Johnson Counties nearly doubled the commitments in just a few weeks from 150 kW to 300 kW,” Soglin said. “We appreciate all the local interest and feel encouraged we’ll reach the fourth and final milestone to maximize the discounts.”

Homeowners and others who sign a program contract for solar by Tuesday, Aug. 31 will be guaranteed a build by the end of this year. The final deadline to sign contracts is Thursday, Sept. 30.

The solar group buy and education program launched with below-market rate pricing. By reaching this third benchmark, a typical array of 7 kW would enjoy savings of $630 off the final price. Maximum cost savings will be reached if the group buy collectively reaches the 500 kW benchmark, potentially bringing the cost down for a 7kW array by $975. Any savings thresholds reached after property owners sign on for solar are retroactively rebated to those owners. All of this is in addition to federal incentives that can cover a large portion of the cost of going solar.

In addition to the two counties, primary partners for the program include the City of Cedar Rapids, the City of Iowa City, Linn County Public Health, Green Iowa AmeriCorps--Cedar Rapids/Matthew 25, Green Iowa AmeriCorps--Iowa City, Johnson Clean Energy District, Johnson County Conservation, Linn Clean Energy District, and The Nature Conservancy in Iowa. The installer for the program is Eagle Point Solar. Grow Solar Linn + Johnson Counties is administered by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) at no cost to the counties or other program partners.