Virginia Solar Congress

Join us for the 3rd Annual Virginia Solar Congress!

Sunday, October 28, 2018
9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
George Mason University
Alan & Sally Merten Hall
4441 George Mason Blvd
Fairfax, VA 22030

The Virginia 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 Virginia. The day will include a series of presentations about solar technology and policy topics as well as ways to get involved to help grow the solar movement in Virginia. Topics will include: solar 101 information session, solar + battery storage in the residential setting, grassroots solar advocacy, electric vehicles, and much more! The event will conclude with a participatory open forum discussion for all attendees to discuss priorities and opportunities that solar supporters in Virginia should focus on in the coming year.

*Park for free at the Rappahannock Parking Deck, located at: 4395 University Drive*


Event Agenda:

9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.   Doors Open, Registration, Breakfast (light breakfast and coffee will be provided)

10:00 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.   Welcome Remarks

  • Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors of Virginia
  • Special remarks by: Richard Kauzlarich, George Mason Center for Energy Science and Policy

10:45 to 11:45   Presentations – Session 1:

  1. Solar 101 Information Session

Learn the basics of how solar works on a 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!

  • Vincent Jerkovich, Solar United Neighbors
  1. Advancing Rooftop Solar Policy in VA: Roundtable Discussion

In this policy roundtable, we’ll discuss practical steps for advancing solar policy in Virginia. Industry experts will offer their perspectives on effective legislation and practical steps you can take to support fair solar policy in Virginia.

  • Facilitated by: Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors
  • Ivy Main, Sierra Club
  • Harry Godfrey, Advanced Energy Economy
  • Hannah Coman, Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Thad Culley, Vote Solar
  • Cliona Robb, VA Solar Energy Development and Energy Storage Authority
  1. George Mason’s Work in the Energy Sector and Climate Change: Panel Discussion

A panel of George Mason staff and faculty will discuss Mason’s efforts on Energy and Climate Issues. From the perspectives of Communications, Policy, and Science.

  • Colin Nackerman, Climate Program Specialist, GMU Center for Climate Change Communication
  • Jennifer Sklarew, Professor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy
  • Paul Houser, Co-Director, Center for Energy Science and Policy

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.   Presentations – Session 2:

  1. Solar + Battery Storage for Homes and Businesses

Learn how advancing battery storage technologies can work with solar on your home or business. The presentation will cover the technology, costs and value proposition for solar and battery storage.

  • Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors of Virginia
  • Scott Sklar, the Stella Group
  1. Grassroots Organizing to Overcome Local Barriers to Solar: Panel Discussion

Learn how advocates are joining together to overcome barriers to solar on the local level.  A panel of experts will share their experiences and successful strategies for growing solar in their communities. From pushing back against homeowner’s associations and municipal limits to solar, to helping local non-profits take advantage of solar, this panel will demonstrate the power of grassroots organizing.

  • Facilitated by: Joy Loving
  • Karen Torrent, Torrent Consulting
  • Erik Curren, Secure Futures and the Solar Patriot
  • Jeff Heie, Give Solar

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.   Lunch and informal networking (lunch will be provided)

2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.   Presentations – Session 3:

  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 so that you can ‘fuel your vehicle with solar’. The session will also cover information for business owners interested in installing an EV charger at their business.

  • Alleyn Harned, Virginia Clean Cities
  1. Organizing for Solar in Rural Electric Cooperatives

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

  • Mike Murphy, Repower REC
  1. Municipal Solar Initiatives to Advance Solar (Arlington County)

Learn how Arlington County has become an innovator in advancing solar for its residents. From pioneering the first CPACE program in Virginia, to a series of successful bulk purchase programs, Arlington County will share resources and lessons to help other municipalities advance solar in their communities.

  • Chris Somers, Arlington County

3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.   Participatory Open Forum Discussion and Closing Remarks

This open forum discussion will feature a selection of the day’s presenters who will highlight key takeaways and provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss next steps for advancing solar in Virginia.

  • Facilitated by: Aaron Sutch, Solar United Neighbors

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!

The 2018 Virginia Solar Congress is being organized by Solar United Neighbors of Virginia, in partnership with the George Mason University Center for Energy Science and Policy.


Parking is free! Solar United Neighbors is excited to be covering parking for all attendees of the Virginia Solar Congress. When you arrive at George Mason University Fairfax Campus, park at the Rappahannock Parking Deck which is located at 4395 University Drive.

Interested in volunteering at the Virginia Solar Congress? We are looking for volunteer photographers and videographers to help document the presentations at the event. If you are interested, please email us at

Past Virginia Solar Congresses

2017 Virginia Solar Congress

2016 Virginia Solar Congress

Aleta and Bill Gadino – Washington, Virginia

I cannot speak more highly of the benefits you will receive by having a co-op in your community. Aleta and Bill Gadino, Solar homeowners – Washington, ...
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