MREA Receives $1.87 Million Dollar Federal Award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot Initiative

Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) has been selected as one of nine regional teams to help homes, businesses, and municipalities cut red tape for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems.

CUSTER, WI – August 20, 2014


As part of the Obama Administration's efforts to ensure America's continued leadership in clean energy and double renewable electricity generation once again by 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy is leading the SunShot Initiative to drive research, manufacturing, and market solutions to make the abundant solar energy resources in the United States more affordable and accessible for Americans.

As part of this effort, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) has been selected as one of nine regional teams to help homes, businesses, and municipalities cut red tape for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems. Though solar modules now cost about 1% of what they did 35 years ago, non-hardware costs like permitting, installation, design, and financing now account for more than 60 percent of the total cost of installed rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems in the United States. Across the nation, there are more than 18,000 local jurisdictions with their own PV permitting requirements as well as more than 5,000 utilities that set rules for connecting to the power grid.

The federal support will be matched with more than $480,000 of private, local, and state support to advance activities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan that 1) facilitate the adoption of solar permitting, planning, and zoning best practices by municipalities, 2) develop model finance arrangements for solar installations, 3) build workforce capacity to properly design, sell, and interconnect code-compliant PV systems, and 4) improve rules, standards and policies to provide a framework for sustainable solar market growth.

To advance these activities, the MREA will be working with partners in 5 Midwest states as part of the Midwest Grow Solar Partnership. As part of this partnership, the MREA is currently hosting the Solar Powering Michigan Conference in Traverse City, Michigan on September 12th to engage utilities, policy makers, lenders, developers & contractors, local governments, and training & workforce development professionals to define opportunities in the solar market and access resources and networks to advance projects. For more information on the event and the Grow Solar Partnership, visit www.growsolar.org.

The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization. Founded in 1990, the MREA promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration. To learn more, call 715-592-6595 or visit www.midwestrenew.org.

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