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Free Modesto Solar Fair Sept. 28 offered by MJC

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POSTED September 21, 2013 12:45 a.m.

MODESTO – Modesto Junior College Project Green and Solar Everywhere will host a Solar Fair on Saturday, Sept. 28, 9 from a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Church of the Brethren, 2301 Woodland Avenue in Modesto.  The event  is free and open to the public.

The  Solar Fair, held in conjunction with the American Solar Energy Society’s National Solar Tour (, features a gathering of local solar companies, financial institutions with special loan programs for solar, Modesto Irrigation District’s Mike Zweifel and Pacific Gas & Electric’s Pete Shoemaker available to advise homeowners and small business owners on whether solar can work for them. Individual homeowners will also be on hand to report personal experiences with solar.

 Interested residents are invited to bring last year’s electric bills and roof data such as shading and pitch, in order to obtain a clear idea of the costs and benefits of tapping into their rooftop’s solar potential.

 “Modesto has over 29,000 residential rooftops that could accommodate solar panels and the surrounding communities have thousands more,” said Frank Ploof, one of the event organizers.

Currently, the MID has over 300 residential photo voltaic (PV) systems and about 140 in the “pipeline” according to Mike Zweifel.

 “Their installed capacity is about 1.5 megawatts-ac, with about 600 kW-ac pending,” said Zweifel. MID’s current rebate is $0.80 per watt output from systems in the utility’s service area. This incentive is in addition to a 30% federal tax credit.

 Brief tours of the Church of the Brethren’s 200-panel solar array will be offered throughout the morning. The Church’s PV system will have generated nearly 100 megawatt-hours of electricity by the end of its first year. The Church is located on Woodland Ave., West of Carpenter. Enter by the west driveway off Woodland.

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