Center hosts Rural Energy Field Day to promote on-farm solar energy


On June 10, the Center and Iowa Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) hosted a Rural Energy Field Day at the Griffieon Family Farm in rural Polk County, Iowa. 

Focused on solar energy, field day participants toured the farm, learning about the rooftop solar array that powers it. During the tour, the Griffieon family shared their experience with the installation process and talked about their electric bill energy savings.

Three presentations on various solar topics rounded out the event. Cory Novak and Matt Edwards of CB Solar, Inc. explained the installation process and what land owners should consider if they are interested in adding a solar array. Joel Fassbinder of Highlandville Honey Farms spoke on his experiences as an agrisolar beekeeper, and Steve Guyer, energy and climate policy specialist with the Iowa Environmental Council discussed renewable energy policy and markets in Iowa.

In addition, the presenters demonstrated practical uses for solar energy on-farm and the opportunities that renewable energy offers rural Iowa as the state transitions to a clean energy grid.

"I was happy to be able to speak at the Rural Energy Field Day,” Guyer said. “This event furthered conversations around renewable energy development in rural Iowa at a time when they are vital."

Deaconess Irene DeMaris, executive director of Iowa IPL, said she is always excited to work with the Center. 

“The field day did not disappoint,” she said. “People are interested in rural clean energy and our field day is proof that Iowans are taking bold and just climate action through integrating solar.” 

Nick Summers, policy assistant with the Center, was glad to see the high level of engagement drawn by each of the presenters.

“The Griffieons have set an excellent example with on-farm solar, and through this field day, they’ve engaged rural Iowans in a discussion on how they can be a part of the renewable energy development in their state,” Nick said “Joel, Steve, Cory, and Matt all lent their time and expertise and made the event a success.”

Feature photo: LaVon Griffieon demonstrates the farm's portable chicken coops during the farm tour for the field day at the Griffieon Family Farm in rural Polk County. |  Photo by Kate Hansen. 

Rural Energy Field Day

Photos by Kate Hansen

Photo 1: Craig Griffieon introduces himself and his family at the Rural Energy Field Day at the Griffieon Family Farm in rural Polk County.
Photo 2: The Griffieon family conducts a tour of their farm during the Rural Energy Field Day.
Photo 3: LaVon Griffieon discusses the farm's operations during a tour. 
Photo 4: The Griffieon Family Farm's solar system sits atop a southern facing roof of an outbuilding.
Photo 5: Attendees walk through a pasture during the farm tour. 
Photo 6: Cory Novak and Matt Edwards discuss the installation process for solar energy systems with attendees at the Rural Energy Field Day.
Photo 7: Joel Fassbinder discusses his solar beekeeping operation.
Photo 8: Nick Summers and Irene DeMaris welcome attendees to the Rural Energy Field Day.