Southwest Va. groups join in with world’s largest grassroots solar event


Austin Counts, Appalachian Voices, 276-679-1691,

Wise County, Va. – The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia joins the nonprofit American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar installers and grassroots organizations throughout America to showcase thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses for the 24th Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event. Several facilities in Southwest Virginia will be featured on the tour.

The Wise County Local Solar Tour, on October 19, shows families and businesses real-life examples of how their neighbors are harnessing free energy from the sun to generate electricity, warm and cool their homes, heat water and slash monthly utility bills.

“The event will showcase the solar technologies your neighbors are using to drastically reduce monthly energy bills, reduce harmful carbon emissions, and enjoy tax credits as they improve their property values,” said Austin Counts, with Appalachian Voices, a member of the Southwest Virginia Solar Workgroup.

The Solar Workgroup will hold open house tours of several homes in Wise County, as well as the solar installations at Mountain Empire Community College. This will give residents a glimpse at how a variety of solar systems look in and around structures with different architectural styles.

Visit the Solar Workgroup website for more information about the Wise County solar tour or to sign up.

The National Solar Tours have attracted more than 150,000 people in 49 U.S. states and Puerto Rico. The tours afford participants the direct perspectives of homeowners and installers about the costs, processes and economic and environmental benefits of going solar.

“The National Solar Tour demonstrates an array of practical and economical solutions available right here, right now. It encourages neighborhood conversations addressing the growing need for clean energy,” ASES Executive Director, Carly Rixham, stated.

This National Solar Tour is free and open to the public. Learn more about sponsoring, hosting or volunteering for a tour in your community.


The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia is a collaborative of nonprofit and community action agencies, colleges, state agencies, planning district commissions and other interested citizens and businesses seeking to develop a renewable energy industry cluster in the seven coalfield counties of Southwest Virginia. The workgroup is co-convened by the UVA-Wise Office of Economic Development & Engagement, People Inc. and Appalachian Voices, with facilitation assistance from Dialogue + Design Associates.

The American Solar Energy Society has led the renewable energy revolution since 1954. It is the nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the use of solar energy, energy efficiency, and other sustainable technologies across North America. ASES leads national efforts to promote solar energy education, public outreach, and advocacy.