Thousands join together for nation’s largest grassroots solar event

By Ben Delman on October 15, 2018

From Washington state, to West Palm Beach, Florida, to Waterbury, Maine, and everywhere in between, solar supporters came together the weekend of October 6 and 7 to participate in the National Solar Tour. Sponsored by Solar United Neighbors and the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), the National Solar Tour is the largest grassroots solar event in the United States. This year’s Tour featured sites in 48 states and more than 700 across the country as well as more than two dozen smaller tours organized locally.

Tour attendees visited homes and businesses that employed solar energy, green building design, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and other technologies. More than just observing, attendees had an opportunity to ask home and business owners about their systems to learn about their experience of going solar.

“We had 16 people attend our stop on the National Solar Tour today!” said Cathy Niswonger, a Tour host from Cleveland. “It was a great day. We enjoyed sharing our solar journey with our wonderful guests. [They] left feeling ‘energized’ by how easy and much more affordable the solar co-op experience was for us.”

Solar United Neighbors, provided each tour host with materials to educate attendees about solar basics and additional information about what was happening around solar, locally. In this way, the Tour is helping to build strong communities of solar supporters.

“We had ten visitors to our Solar Open House, three of which are definitely interested in going solar,” said Robert Barr, a Tour host from Ruther Glen, Virginia. “One visitor started the process today to have a solar system install on his home.”

Putting on such a large event requires a lot of help. The Tour relied on the work of dozens of local organizations, national non-profits, and local and national solar installation companies who helped find site hosts and recruited attendees. There were more than 50 of articles written about the tour.

If you missed this year’s Tour, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for next year! In the mean-time, here’ s some of the great photos from around the country.

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