2019 Virginia Solar Congress

Solar supporters from around Virginia joined together for the 2018 Virginia Solar Congress.
Solar supporters from around Virginia joined together for the 2018 Virginia Solar Congress.

Join us for the 2019 Virginia Solar Congress!

Solar experts, activists, homeowners, and supporters from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia will be converging in Williamsburg this November. We’ll discuss the state of solar in Virginia in 2019 and celebrate the progress our movement has made so far. RSVP today!

2019 Virginia Solar Congress

Saturday, November 16th
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
William & Mary School of Education
301 Monticello Avenue
Williamsburg, VA 23185

Click here to RSVP

The venue is wheel chair accessible. If you require special accommodation to attend and participate in this event, please message us directly as soon as possible at [email protected].


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

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. – Welcome remarks

  • Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors
  • Henry Broaddus, William and Mary
  • Glen Brand, Solar United Neighbors

10:35 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. – Presentations

  1. Solar 101 Information Session

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!

  • Jessica Hamilton, Solar United Neighbors
  1. Solar in Schools/Churches/Non-profits

How do we get more schools, churches, and non-profits to  go solar? Learn the practical steps you can take to organize solar on your school or church. A panel of experts will discuss how they overcome the barriers to helping their facilities go solar.

  • Ruth Amundsen, Norfolk Academy
  • Tish Tablan, Generation180
  • Father John Grace, Immaculate Conception Parish
  • Chad Wilkins, ConvertSolar
  • Aditi Iyengar, Student Solar Advocate
  1. Organizing for Solar and Democracy in Rural Electric Cooperatives

Rural electric cooperatives provide power for nearly 20% of Virginians. Learn how grassroots organizing efforts are promoting local energy resources and democratic, local governance for cooperative members.

  • Seth Heald, Repower REC
  • Mike Murphy, Repower REC
  • Daniel Mintz, We Own It

11:40 a.m. – 12:35 p.m. – Presentations

  1. Organizing to Advance Solar on the Local Level

Learn how advocates are joining together to overcome solar barriers at the  grassroots level. Panelists will share their experiences and successful strategies to grow solar in their communities. Topics will include pushing back against municipal limits on solar and helping local non-profits benefit from solar. This panel will demonstrate the power of grassroots organizing.   ‘

  • Joy Loving, CAAV
  • Ann Creasy, Sierra Club
  • Doug Hendren M.D., Harrionsburg solar advocate
  • Maureen Fairbrother, Middle Peninsula Co-op partner
  • Jeff Heie, GiveSolar
  1. Electric Vehicles and Solar

Learn why electric vehicles are the perfect match for solar. The presentation will focus on technology, costs, charging, and other practical considerations. This will enable you to ‘fuel your vehicle with solar’. The session will also cover how business owners can install  an EV charger at their business and explain innovative new programs that help make EV’s more accessible to everyone.

  • Charles Gerena, Drive Electric RVA
  • Nate McFarland, Generation 180
  • Zach Hurst, EV Resource
  1. Business Case for Solar

More and more businesses are installing solar. Learn from business-owners about how to make the numbers work. Panelists will discuss why adding solar to your business can be great for you bottom line and your brand.

  • Cliona Robb, Virginia Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority
  • Henry Broaddus, William and Mary
  • Carl Zangardi, Kiskiack Golf Course
  • Jay Epstein, Healthy E Communities
  • Scott Dicke, CPace                 

12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. – Lunch (provided)

  • Informal networking
  • Acapella group performance
  • EV Showcase
  • Policy training –  Glen Brand, Solar United Neighbors

2:00 p.m. – 2:55 p.m. – Presentations

  1. Solar + Battery storage for homeowners and businesses

Learn how you can pair battery storage with solar on your home or business. The presentation will cover recent advancements in battery technology and its declining costs. It will also explore the value proposition for solar and battery storage.

  • Joe Ordia, PEG Solar
  • Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors
  1. Equity in Solar

Virginia’s energy transition must include fair and equitable representation of all communities.  Panelists will discuss the barriers that marginalized communities face. They will also provide ways to ensure everyone can benefit from solar’s continued growth.

  • Mary Finley Brook, University of Richmond
  • Austin Counts, Appalachian Voices
  • BeKura Shabazz, Virginia Environmental Justice Collaborative
  • Yesenia Rivera, Solar United Neighbors
  1. Solar Workforce Development

Solar is one of America’s fastest growing job sectors. Solar jobs include a broad range of skills sets and experience. Learn from Virginia solar industry experts how you can position yourself for a great solar job.

  • Nolie Diakoulas, Convert Solar
  • Heather Burns, Sigora Solar
  • Glen Brand, Solar United Neighbors
  • Ryan Phaup, Shockoe Solar

3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – Participatory Open Forum Discussion about solar priorities and opportunities in VA

  • Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors
  • Glen Brand, Solar United Neighbors

3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Closing remarks

  • Informal networking
  • EV Showcase