A fond farewell to Ohio’s community of solar supporters

Luke Sulfridge.

This month will be my last with Solar United Neighbors. I have recently been selected as the next Executive Director of the Southeast Ohio Public Energy Council where I will continue to work on clean energy development. But before I leave I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the awesome work we’ve done together to expand solar access across Ohio.

Working together, we have helped more than 200 homes, businesses, and faith communities go solar.  All told, we have deployed approximately 1.5 megawatts of distributed solar generation with at least another megawatt of solar on government buildings in partnership with Cuyahoga County.  Solar United Neighbors’ Ohio program now serves as a catalyst for more than a million dollars in solar investment in Ohio each year.

Thousands of Ohioans have attended our information sessions to learn about solar technology and how to go solar. Hundreds more have been a part of our Solar Congresses.  Thank you to everyone who has helped us build this program from the beginning in 2016 until now. Just this past month, Ohio hosted the largest community solar co-op meeting in our organization’s history in Greene County.

Three years ago, we launched our first co-ops in Lorain County and Delaware County. Both communities successfully doubled the amount of solar arrays through co-ops.  Since then we have partnered with communities across Ohio and even into Eastern Kentucky. From the Cumberland Mountains to the shores of Lake Erie, communities are working to advance solar. Thank you to everyone who has supported us in this journey.

Installations from these solar co-ops have displaced 28,000 tons of carbon and have created or sustained at least 60 solar jobs in Ohio.  The Ohio program has also helped advance electrification of transportation by incorporating EV chargers into our co-op install options.

It has been an honor to serve Ohioans as we grow and fight for solar together.  We have testified at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, the General Assembly and worked with local governments and neighborhood associations to advance solar policy. We have protected solar and informed policy on renewable energy access in Ohio.

The future of solar in Ohio is bright, and I look forward to continuing to be a part of it in my new role.

My last day with Solar United Neighbors will be May 16. If you have questions about our work in Ohio, please reach out to my colleague, Emily Stiever at: [email protected].

If you are interested in becoming the next Ohio director you can apply here.

In gratitude and partnership,

Luke Sulfridge

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