Grow Solar Cedar Valley Initiative Announced

Businesses and Homeowners Pool Purchase Power for Solar Savings

CEDAR VALLEY — The sun is shining for homeowners and business owners in the Cedar Valley region, as the Grow Solar Cedar Valley program commences on August 15th. The program will allow individual home and commercial property owners to access competitive prices for solar installations through the power of volume purchasing. 

The program is coordinated by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), 1000 Friends of Iowa and the Nature Conservancy in Iowa, with promotional support from the City of Waterloo, Heartland Habitat for Humanity, Green Iowa Americorps, University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy & Environmental Education and the Iowa Environmental Council. 

“Iowans are lowering electricity bills by investing in solar energy; however, many barriers remain,” said Patrick Snell with The Nature Conservancy in Iowa. “We are seeing a rise of solar scams across the country, and it can be a stressful, time-consuming process to see if solar is right for a home or business. That’s why we continue to be a proud supporter of the Grow Solar program because it accelerates the implementation of low-impact solar energy in Iowa, breaks down those logistical barriers and brings a community together with the professional, educational materials they need.”

Group purchase programs provide residents and businesses with the opportunity to invest in high-quality, renewable energy solar installations, while also helping reach sustainability goals. In similar programs, estimated first-year savings on utility bills have ranged from $690 to more than $1,000, depending on the size of the array.  

Over the next few months, the program will provide free, one-hour long educational sessions called “Solar Power Hours” for members of the public.  A minimum of 12 virtual and in-person sessions will provide prospective participants with information about how solar energy works. Representatives of the program will also be on hand to answer questions. The program’s website,, features a sign-up form where residents and business owners can elect to receive a solar installation cost estimate or general program updates and Solar Power Hour announcements. 

The program is administered by the MREA at no cost to the communities. This type of program has been successful in other Iowa communities, including Waukee, Dallas County, Warren, Linn, Johnson and Jackson Counties. A current program in Polk County is also going on this summer. 

The first two Solar Power Hour events are listed below. For full details about additional dates, time, location and how to register, visit

Jessica Maldonado