Allegheny County Solar Co-op first in Pennsylvania to offer bifacial panels

By Nick Seymour on September 3, 2019

The Allegheny County Solar Co-op has selected EIS Solar to install solar panels for the 27-participant group. Co-op participants selected EIS Solar through a competitive bidding process over other firms.

“We are honored to be selected as the installer for this co-op,” said Ian Smith of EIS Solar. “We work throughout the region, but Allegheny County is our home and we are proud to see more solar going up right here.”

Co-op participants selected EIS Solar because of their diverse offering of quality modules and competitive pricing. For the first time in a Pennsylvania solar co-op, members will have the option to install “bifacial” solar panels, an emerging technology that more installers around the country are beginning to offer.

“There’s strength in numbers,” said Cindy Haigh, a selection committee and co-op member. “We can get a better deal by joining together.”

Unlike traditional solar panels, which can only collect light on one side, bifacial panels can produce energy from light hitting the top and bottom of the panel. If installed above light-colored roof surfaces, the sunlight reflecting off of the roof can provide extra energy. And since these panels are protected by two sheets of glass – unlike regular panels, they are more rigid and will degrade more slowly.

Solar United Neighbors expands access to solar by educating Allegheny County residents about the benefits of distributed solar energy, helping them organize group solar installations, and strengthening Pennsylvania solar policies and its community of solar supporters.

“I learned a lot about going solar by going with a solar co-op that I wouldn’t have known had I done this on my own,” said Steve Williams, a selection committee and co-op member.

The co-op is open to new participants until Monday, October 21st. Allegheny County residents interested in joining the co-op can sign up at the co-op web page.

The solar co-op is free to join and joining the co-op is not a commitment to purchase panels. EIS Solar will provide each co-op participant with an individualized proposal based on the group rate. By going solar as a group and choosing a single installer, participants can save on the cost of going solar and have the support of fellow group participants and solar experts at Solar United Neighbors.

Solar United Neighbors supports solar co-ops across the country. These co-ops are a part of the organization’s mission to create a new energy system with rooftop solar as the cornerstone. Solar United Neighbors holds events and education programs to help people become informed solar consumers, maximize the value of their solar investment and advocate for fair solar policies.