Eric Buchanan in front of one solar energy configuration at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

The Morris and Southwest Prairie Solar Co-op has formed to help interested residents and businesses increase their solar energy usage and they are set to hold their first informational webinar 7 p.m. tonight (Wednesday). Eric Buchanan works at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris and is a member of the Morris Model. He told the KMRS Early Morning Show that increasing the use of solar energy in the community fits in with the goals of the Morris Model.

“We’ve got three major goals we want to work on in the community,” Buchanan explained. “But one of them, and maybe the biggest one, is we would like to produce 80 percent of the energy that we use within Stevens County. We’d actually like to produce that energy in Stevens County. And so, getting solar on rooftops is a big part of that.”

Buchanan said they do not have to be large solar arrays. If everybody in town put up a few panels on their roof, that would affect their energy bills and would be considered county-produced energy. Partners in the co-op project are Solar United Neighbors, the Land Stewardship Project, Montevideo-based CURE, and the Morris Model. You can register for tonight’s webinar and access it at solarunitedneighbors.org.

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