Solar energy supporters from across West Virginia gathered Saturday at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center for the fourth annual West Virginia Solar Congress. 

The event gives community members who have made the switch to solar a chance to share their stories. It also allows those interested in making the switch to ask questions. 

This comes as a new group is looking to promote solar across Charleston and Huntington.

The Charleston-Huntington Solar Co-op is open to residents of Cabell, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam, and Roane counties as well as nearby locations in northern Boone, Lincoln, and Wayne counties and southern Jackson County.

The goal of the co-op is to bring homeowners together into a group, or co-op. They provide unbiased, installer-neutral support through each stage of the process of going solar. OThey ensure those who are interested understand how solar works, how it can be financed, and how it can be installed. 

Co-ops take advantage of the group’s bulk-purchasing power to get discounted pricing and a quality installation. Co-op volunteers choose an installer on behalf of the entire group through an open and competitive bidding process. The selected installer provides everyone in the group with a personalized proposal for their consideration.

Autumn Long is the state director for the non-profit, Solar United Neighbors. Long said the group is free to join and joining is not a commitment to purchase panels. If you are interested in learning more, you can find more information on the co-op’s Facebook page.