Illinois group hosts solar town hall in Palatine
The Illinois Solar Education Association co-hosted a town-hall event with state Rep. Nabeela Syed this week in Palatine, where residents heard from a local solar business owner and solar homeowners.
"It's nice to be here to be advocating and supporting something that I deeply care about, which is renewable energy and making sure that our communities are better able to transfer over to solar power," Syed said.
Syed, a 24-year-old Palatine native, said solar and other forms of sustainable energy especially are important as "we are seeing the impacts of climate change on the most personal levels," including with public health.
Peter Gorr, who powers his Deer Park home exclusively though solar, spoke about the process of going solar. Gorr is a volunteer solar ambassador with the education association.
"This is one action we as individuals can take" to address climate change, Gorr said. "We have to make decisions about our lifestyles."
The town hall drew about 20 people. More than 100 Illinois home and business owners with solar installations will open their doors to the public to share their experiences with renewable energy on Sept. 30.
The statewide event has been organized annually the last 15 years by the Illinois Solar Education Association.
Through a mix of in-person and virtual tours, people will have a chance to see "real-life examples" of solar and ask their neighbors about the setup process and for advice.
"Each year, the Illinois Solar Tour provides thousands of Illinoisans the opportunity to learn about the numerous benefits of solar, from cost savings to environmental benefits," said Lesley McCain, the solar assocation's executive director. "Between the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and federal Inflation Reduction Act making solar more accessible than ever, now is the perfect time for anyone who is interested in solar to visit a participating site near them and learn more."
More information, including where to find tour sites in different parts of the state, can be found at tinyurl.com/IllinoisSolarTour.
• Jenny Whidden is a climate change and environment writer working with the Daily Herald through a partnership with Report For America supported by The Nature Conservancy. To help support her work with a tax-deductible donation, see dailyherald.com/rfa.