Solar for farms and small businesses
Are you a West Virginia farmer or small business owner? Ever thought about going solar? Become a member of Solar United Neighbors and we can connect you with the resources you need to bring solar energy to your farm or business.
How we can help you go solar
Become a member of Solar United Neighbors to access our resources and staff assistance to help you go solar. Our West Virginia Program Director, Autumn Long, is located in-state and can provide expert, vendor-neutral information to help you understand your options and compare proposals from solar installers. We also help identify and apply for grant opportunities and guaranteed loan-financing programs available for West Virginia agricultural producers and rural small businesses. Questions? Contact Autumn directly at [email protected].
We support, advise, and advocate for our members throughout the entire process of going solar with:
Our West Virginia team is ready to help you qualify for financing assistance for your solar energy projects, through programs which can:
- Cover up to 25% of the cost of going solar through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), which offers offers grant funding and guaranteed loan financing to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements. This program has already provided more than $4 million in assistance to over 100 West Virginia farms and small businesses.
- Provide technical information, financial assistance, and energy upgrade financing through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Energy Initiative.
- Secure financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through the Conservation Fund’s Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) Energy Initiative. They also connect borrowers with a regional network of service providers and capital and funding sources.
Answers to your solar questions
In addition to our West Virginia in-state team, Solar United Neighbors members receive unlimited access to our Solar Help Desk, which provides one-on-one support for all your questions about going solar. We are a nonprofit – not a solar installer or sales company – and our experts are unbiased and independent. Our Solar Help Desk can help you review installer proposals and answer questions like:
- How much will my solar system cost?
- Should I install a rooftop or ground mounted system?
- How can I finance my solar project?
- How do I choose an installer?
- What permits and approvals will I need?
“The REAP program was a deciding factor,”
Tommye Rafes, who went solar as part of Solar United Neighbors’ Lewisburg Solar Co-op in 2017. She and her husband Richard installed a 21kW system on their farm in West Virginia with the help of a grant from the REAP program. She estimates the system will pay for itself within about six years.
“[REAP] could be an answer to more rural businesses trying to stay in business,”
Debby Kay of Chilbrook Kennels in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Kay recently used REAP funding to add solar and battery storage to her business.
Watch the video below to hear from our West Virginia program director, Autumn Long, and learn more about how Solar United Neighbors can help you access programs available to help finance your solar project.