2020 Pennsylvania Solar Congress


2020 Pennsylvania Solar Congress

Saturday, February 15, 2020
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Chestnut Ridge Golf Resort & Conference Center
132 Pine Ridge Road
Blairsville, PA 15717

RSVP today!

The Pennsylvania Solar Congress is a free public conference that brings together solar supporters from across the state to learn and discuss the current solar landscape and future for solar energy in Pennsylvania.

The day will include a series of presentations about solar technology and policy topics as well as ways to get involved with helping to grow solar in Pennsylvania.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all attendees!

This event is FREE and open to the public. Everyone is welcome to attend! Whether you are a solar homeowner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – this event is for you!

Click here to see presentation slides and photos from last year’s event.


9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Doors open, registration, breakfast (provided)

10:00 – 10:10 a.m – Welcome to Indiana County
Sherene Hess, Commissioner, Indiana County
Welcome to Indiana County! Hear from an elected official how Indiana County and its institutions are working to stay ahead in the energy market, and why this region is becoming a statewide leader in the solar movement.

10:10  – 10:30 a.m. – The State of Solar in Pennsylvania
Henry McKay, Solar United Neighbors
2020 will be a critical year for solar in Pennsylvania. Not only is it our last chance to pass the community solar bills that we have been fighting for since early 2019, but also we must begin setting more ambitious state solar goals before the current goals level off in 2021. Learn how far we’ve come, what needs to happen next, and what role you can play in Pennsylvania’s solar movement.

10:40 – 11:30 a.m. – Presentations

Solar 101
Roger Horowitz, Solar United Neighbors
Learn how solar can work for your home or small business, the economics behind solar, and the incentives available to you. If you are new to solar or considering going solar, this is the session for you!

Everybody Loves Solar: Planning a Solar Festival in Coal Country
Heaven Sensky, Community Organizer, Center for Coalfield Justice
Last September, over 200 people turned out for the first annual Greene County Solar Festival, organized by the Center for Coalfield Justice in partnership with Solar United Neighbors. Attendees connected with solar installers, learned how to get involved with solar advocacy, and even took a few test drives in a Tesla! Learn what it takes to plan a solar festival and bring new voices into the solar movement.

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. – Presentations

On-Farm Utility Scale Solar PV, Drivers, Opportunities, Concerns
Ed Johnstonbaugh, Educator, Energy Savings and Renewables, PennState Extension
In this session, participants will learn about the transition from traditional centralized generation plants to distributed energy resources such as utility-scale solar PV. As solar PV costs have fallen, “farming” electricity in the role of lessor is becoming a viable option for many farmers and landowners. Learn what property owners need to know about developing a project, bringing it online, and retiring it at the end of its useful life.

Past, Present and Future of Electric Cars
Jonathan Belak, President, Three Rivers Electric Vehicle Association
Electric cars are becoming increasingly popular as more affordable models enter the market and the network of charging stations grows. Learn what it’s like to ditch gas for a battery in Pennsylvania. This session will cover topics including shopping for an electric car, understanding charging, and the benefits and pleasures of driving electric!

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch (provided), informal networking

Electrical Vehicle Showcase

1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m. – Presentations 

Local Government Leadership in Solar
Sherene Hess, Commissioner, Indiana County
Molly Sarver, Senior Land Use Planner, Indiana County Office of Planning & Development
Jonathan Warnock, Assistant Professor, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Cindy Rogers, President, Evergreen Conservancy and League of Women Voters of Indiana County
Nick Zimny-Shea, Planning & Zoning Official, Indiana Borough
Collaboration between local government, grass-root organizations, and regional non-profits empowers Indiana County residents to shape their community. Hear how these partnerships are making solar power and energy independence accessible to home and business owners alike.

Grassroots Solar Advocacy Training
Alexis Miller, Engagement Specialist, Solar United Neighbors
You are the Pennsylvania Solar Movement! Learn how Solar United Neighbors can help you be an effective and influential solar advocate, making positive changes in your own community or across the Commonwealth.

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Participatory Open Forum Discussion
Join us to talk about solar priorities and opportunities in PA. Make your voice heard!

3:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – Closing remarks

4:00 p.m – Happy Hour (optional)
Spike Bar – Chestnut Ridge