West Virginia Solar Congress


Join us for the 3rd Annual West Virginia Solar Congress!

Solar Works!

Saturday, May 5
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
West Virginia Northern Community College
1704 Market Street
Wheeling, WV 26003


The West Virginia Solar Congress is a free public conference that brings together solar supporters from across the state. It’s an opportunity to learn, share stories, and celebrate solar energy in West Virginia. 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 the state. Topics will include: solar 101, battery storage for homes, emerging solar policy initiatives, ways to get involved, 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 West Virginia should focus on in the coming year.

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 owner, completely new to solar, or somewhere in between – this event is for you!


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

10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.    Opening Remarks

  • Autumn Long, Program Director, Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia

10:40 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.    Breakout Presentations – Session 1

Solar 101: Introduction to Rooftop Solar PV

Learn the basics of solar PV technology and how to save money on your electric bills by joining a Solar United Neighbors solar co-op.

  • Henry McKay, Program Director, Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania

Spreading Solar in Your Community: A Panel Discussion with West Virginia Solar Champions

Local solar champions share their experiences and successful strategies to grow solar in West Virginia communities. Learn from and be inspired by these volunteer leaders.

  • Mary Ellen Cassidy, Wheeling: Coordinator, New Energy Economy Program, WALS Foundation; Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia advisory board member
  • Jean & Bill Ambrose, Parkersburg: Co-founders, Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action
  • Robert Fernatt, Martinsburg: Solar homeowner and EV driver; Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia advisory board member

11:40 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.    Breakout Presentations – Session 2

Batteries 101: Solar + Storage for the Home or Small Business

Residential and small-scale commercial energy storage is becoming more common and affordable. Find out how battery storage works and how it interacts with the energy produced from solar.

  • Autumn Long, Program Director, Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia

Driving on Sunshine: Electric Vehicles + Solar

By powering an electric vehicle (EV) with rooftop solar, you can drive on sunshine. Learn about the history and future of electric vehicles. Demonstration EVs will be available to view.

  • Marty Weirick, Charleston: President, West Virginia Electric Auto Association
  • Robert Fernatt, Martinsburg: Solar homeowner and EV driver; Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia advisory board member

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

1:40 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.    Developing a Successful Advocacy Campaign: Lessons from the West Virginians for Energy Freedom Coalition

In 2017, West Virginians for Energy Freedom led a successful campaign to oppose the transfer of FirstEnergy’s Pleasants power plant into the regulated West Virginia utility market. Learn valuable lessons in organizing and advocacy from a coalition leader and the founder of Solar United Neighbors.

  • Anya Schoolman, Executive Director, Solar United Neighbors

2:40 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.    Participatory Open Forum Discussion

Open discussion on the future of solar in West Virginia, learn about and share upcoming policy initiatives, information about local solar projects, and opportunities to get involved with helping to grow the solar movement across the West Virginia.

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.    Post-Congress Happy Hour – First State Capitol Building, 1413 Eoff Street, Wheeling WV 26003

Continue the connecting and celebrating solar over happy hour, just a short walk away from WVNCC!

Hosted by the WALS Foundation. Beverage and light appetizers provided.

Help us spread the word about the West Virginia Solar Congress by sharing our event flyer with your network!

Volunteer opportunities at the West Virginia Solar Congress:

If you are able to assist with any of the following volunteer opportunities, contact Carra Cheslin at: getinvolved@solarunitedneighbors.org.

1. Volunteer videographers and Facebook live-ers (2 volunteers) – We are looking for 2 volunteer videographers with their own high resolution video camera to film presentations and footage during the event.

*If you don’t have a video camera, but would be able to help Facebook live presentations by filming them on your smart phone and streaming them live through our Facebook page, we are looking volunteers to assist with this as well!*

2. Volunteer photographer (1 volunteer) – We are looking for a photographer with their own high resolution camera to capture great photos of the event throughout the day.

3. Event set up, clean up, and sign-in table support (3 – 5 volunteers) – We are looking for a few volunteers to help set up before the solar congress, clean up after the event, and staff the sign in/registration table at the start of the event.

Past West Virginia Solar Congresses

2017 West Virginia Solar Congress

2016 West Virginia Solar Congress

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