Learn more about solar power when Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College hosts Solar on the Farm on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Held at Eastern's Moorefield campus, 316 Eastern Dr., and co-hosted by Vandalia Energy Services, Mountain View Solar and the US Department of Agriculture Rural Energy for America Program, Solar on the Farm is designed for those interested in solar energy applications, including farm owners, business proprietors and local residents.

"While Eastern has a robust wind technology program, we promote education related to various sustainable alternative energy options, including solar power," said Dr. Sarah Cross, Director of Agriculture Innovation. "Due to the rising cost of energy, alternative power sources, including solar and wind, have become more common throughout the United States. Photovoltaic solar panels have become more affordable over time, and this energy source can pay off for agricultural producers."

Mountain View Solar installed panels on local Hardy County poultry producer Ward Malcom's farm nearly 10 years ago. By taking advantage of programs like the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) grant, Malcom was able to offset costs associated with purchasing the panels. In addition to a REAP grant, which can be written with assistance from Vandalia Energy Services, those interested in installing solar paneling can take advantage of significant tax incentives provided to those who go green.

As part of Solar on the Farm, Malcom will give participants the opportunity to visit and tour his solar farming system after the event's educational session, which includes information related to solar energy, specifics on the photovoltaic solar panel installation process and details on relevant financial assistance. Although the event is free, RSVPs are encouraged. Contact Sarah Cross, Eastern's Director of Agriculture Innovation at sarah.cross@easternwv.edu or 304-434-8000, extension 9233.

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