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What drives your interest in working on solar energy issues?

The Winneshiek Energy District focus is on creating as much local, renewable energy as possible. Investments in renewable energy are investments in the local community. Installing the systems creates jobs and the owner gains a lifetime income stream from their array. The money that is saved is money that would have left the community (Iowa doesn’t have any of its own fossil fuels). Instead that local savings is retained and recirculated through the local economy.

What impact do you feel the SolSmart program and you as an Advisor will have on the communities with which you will work?

I hope we can identify barriers to solar that exist or may spring up in the future. By keeping soft costs down, we can make sure that solar continues to be affordable for larger and ever growing portion of the community.

What aspects of your work plan are you most excited about working on?

Getting northeast Iowa on the map. We don’t have a large capacity installed, so we’re often overlooked. However, per capita, we’ve already got a great start to being leading solar communities in the state.

What do you hope to gain from this experience?

I’m excited to work with communities beyond my own and see how we can help northeast Iowa keep its solar market growing and productive.

About Joel

Joel joined the Winneshiek Energy District shortly after it was founded in 2010. He’s the Energy District’s lead technical advisor and works with farmers, business owners, and homeowners to help plan their energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. He worked for several years within the ratepayer funded utility efficiency programs helping conduct small commercial audits while also providing support to a direct-incentive lighting rebate program and a data center energy efficiency pilot project. Joel has a Bachelor’s of Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He has completed the MREA Solar Site Assessor program and is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM).