BIG STONE GAP, Va. — Iron Works Cycling and Appalachian Voices have received a grant from the Solar Moonshot Program to install a 16-kilowatt solar energy system on the Big Stone Gap cycle shop. The project will be constructed October 30th and is the first to be installed as part of the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia’s commercial-scale solar group purchase programs.
“Iron Works is excited to be powering our business with solar energy,” said Lorenzo Rodriquez, co-owner of Iron Works Cycling. “This new system allows us to reinvest more money in our business and our community, and I look forward to the educational possibilities this provides for the area.”
As part of its mission to utilize the development of solar energy as an economic catalyst in the region, the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia has conducted two commercial-scale group purchase programs, including more than 4.2 MW of solar projects in the seven-county coalfield region. Now, a $25,000 grant from the Solar Moonshot Program and new financing options created by new state policy have opened up the solar market in Southwest Virginia.
“The owners of Iron Works Cycling give so much to their community, including sponsoring the high school cross country team, funding new parks, and sponsoring local races,” said Chelsea Barnes with Appalachian Voices, co-convener of the workgroup. “This is the first of many projects — as a result of new legislation, we expect at least seven megawatts of solar to be installed in the seven-county region in 2021.”
The Solar Moonshot grant is funded by the Left Coast Fund and managed by Hammond Climate Solutions. The initiative provides grants to organizations across the United States to go solar, reducing their environmental impact while saving money that can be reinvested into their communities.
“We are excited to support this solar project, helping Virginia reduce dependence on fossil fuels and supporting local green jobs while contributing towards a more just and livable future,” said Tara Hammond, founder and CEO of Hammond Climate Solutions, which manages the Solar Moonshot Program on behalf of Left Coast Fund, “We appreciate Appalachian Voices’ efforts to reduce the impacts of the climate crisis, creating an Appalachia with healthy ecosystems and resilient local economies that support thriving communities.”
The installation will be completed by Sigora Solar, which was selected as the installer for the workgroup’s second group-purchase program in 2019.
“Sigora is excited to bring clean, affordable and reliable energy to Appalachia,” said Logan Landry, Sigora Solar CEO. “We are committed to ensuring that all communities have energy choice. That is why we came to Southwest Virginia and why Sigora continues to dedicate ourselves to these types of partnerships.”
Building owners in Southwest Virginia interested in going solar with the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia can contact the workgroup at [email protected]
About Iron Works Cycling: Iron Works Cycling, LLC is a full service bicycle shop in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, offering bike sales & bike service. Iron Works offers bicycles for general fitness, road races & mountain trails. The owners of Iron Works Cycling contribute significantly to their local community and support the growing recreational economy in the region, sponsoring numerous events in the area and providing funding for recreational facilities.
About the Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia: The Solar Workgroup is comprised 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 was co-convened in 2016 by the UVA-Wise Office of Economic Development & Engagement, People Inc., and Appalachian Voices, with facilitation assistance from Dialogue + Design Associates. For more information visit swvasolar.org
About Sigora Solar: Sigora Solar is one of the fastest-growing solar companies in the United States and the largest residential and commercial solar company in Virginia, with more than 40% of the Commonwealth’s installed distributed generation capacity. Sigora now operates in 14 states, establishing itself as a top 25 residential solar company in the Country. Sigora’s mission is to empower people and communities through energy and technology services enabling a more sustainable and equitable energy economy. For more information visit sigorasolar.com.