The West Virginia State University (WVSU) Economic Development Center (EDC) will host a Charleston Solar Co-op information session Tuesday, May 19, at 5:30 p.m. The co-op is a new initiative of Kanawha County residents seeking to leverage their collective buying power and better harness the potential of solar energy.

“The Charleston Solar Co-op is an effective and viable approach for developing community-based renewable energy projects in Charleston and other parts of West Virginia,” WVSU Sustainable Community and Economic Development Specialist Sarah Halstead said. “This business model provides benefits to individuals, businesses or communities through the implementation and use of solar power.”

Solar energy systems harness energy in the form of solar radiation, which makes the production of solar electricity possible. The WVSU EDC is teaming with WV SUN, a nonprofit organization that makes solar energy systems more affordable and accessible. The group has helped organize neighborhood solar co-ops throughout the state, most recently in Monroe and Fayette counties.

“The solar co-op model fits perfectly with the EDC’s vision of community development as the place where sustainability meets livability,” Halstead said.

The public is invited to attend the information session to learn about solar energy, the co-op process and the cost of installing a system. As a co-op, a group is eligible for tax credits in addition to saving an average of 25 percent on the cost of installation, Halstead said.

Learn more about the Charleston Solar Co-op and solar energy systems at