Solar fairs and sustainable living expos are great places to learn more about solar.
For consumers, sustainable living events are a place to meet face-to-face with installers from around the region, see new products and compare services. For professionals, solar fairs are a great way to advertise, meet distributors and check out the competition. They can also be a lot of fun!
No matter what part of the country you are in, there is probably a solar fair near you. Some are small, drawing just a few hundred area residents, and some are huge, drawing tens of thousands of participants from all around the country and the world. Some are oriented more toward pros, but a lot of fairs feature educational workshops or break-out sessions and demonstrations for solar newbies and people with a casual interest in solar or sustainable living. Many feature kid-friendly hands-on activities, making them great family outings. There are even solar-powered outdoor music festivals!
Go SOLAR and Renewable Energy Fest
Kicking off the spring renewable energy fair season, Go SOLAR Florida hosts Go SOLAR and Renewable Energy Fest each April at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, in Fort Lauderdale. This free event features information on alternative and renewable energy with a focus on the latest technologies, financing options, and creating renewable energy jobs.
California Solar Power Expo
Held each May, the California Solar Power Expo is an interactive event designed for solar, smart energy, and storage professionals who are working in and with the California solar market to make powerful business connections. The event will feature exhibitor-led interactive training for installers as well as networking opportunities.
The Midwest Solar Expo
A fairly new event, the Midwest Solar Expo focuses on continuing the dialogue on Midwest solar, gaining insights from industry experts and receiving hands-on product training and networking with 450+ solar industry leaders from across the country.
MREA Energy Fair
The third weekend in June is the brings us one of the oldest and most established summer solar events. Coming up on 30 years, the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s Energy Fair takes place in the woods of Wisconsin near Custer, just outside of Stevens Point. This event draws as many as 25,000 people each summer and offers three days of non-stop classes and workshops, demonstrations and camaraderie.
The Michigan Energy Fair
Hosted by the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association, the Michigan Energy Fair features workshops on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living. There are hands-on activities for kids, rides available in electric vehicles and over 70 exhibitors.
Green Festival Expo
The Green Festival Expo is a popular event that includes not only solar but a lot of educational sessions on eco-living and other environmental topics. Held in New York City in June, the expo also has dates in Washington DC, Tampa, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Of all of the solar events held each year, the Green Festival Expos feature some of the most famous and popular guest speakers in the world of sustainability.
SolWest is Oregon’s long-running renewable energy fair, now going into its 17th year. SolWest takes place every June, where, according to their website, “Dozens of one-hour workshops help participants understand the basics of solar electricity, low-cost do-it-yourself solar projects, setting up wind, micro hydro, or solar hot water systems, creating an off-grid paradise, constructing green buildings, raising small livestock, gardening, preserving food, and more.” For more info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Solar Power Texas
Solar Power Texas is a two-day event held in Austin, Texas. This event showcases products like power conversion, PV mounting systems, Operations & Maintenance, Residential Solar, Smart Home Technology, Software etc. in the Power & Renewable Energy, Solar Energy industries.
Intersolar North America
Intersolar North America is North America’s most-attended solar event. It is primarily aimed at industry pros, and premier networking platform, takes place July 11-13, 2017 in San Francisco. The event’s exhibition and conference both focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production technologies, smart renewable energy and solar thermal technologies. Since being founded, Intersolar has become the most important industry platform for manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, service providers and partners of the solar industry.
Illinois Renewable Energy Fair
The Illinois Renewable Energy Association (IREA) hosts it’s annual event each August. IREA supports sustainable energy development in Illinois. The IREA provides hands-on opportunities for the Illinois public to learn about the benefits, potentials, and uses of renewable energy and energy-efficiency for our homes and businesses.
SolarFest in Vermont started in 1995 when a “group of friends with overlapping passions for music and renewable energy planned a big party.” In 2015, Vermont SolarFest will celebrate their 20th anniversary by staying true to their roots, celebrating music, art and renewable energy.
LES Sustainable Living Festival
Kudos to electric utility provider Lincoln Electric Systems (LES) for holding their own sustainability fair! A small, regional event with great educational sessions, The 2017 LES Sustainable Living Festival is held every August at The Railyard on West Market in Lincoln, Nebraska. The festival is a designed specifically to be fun event for the whole family. The event is focused on providing attendees with education about sustainable living through engaging hands-on activities.
MREA Energy Fair
MREA has added a second Energy Fair to their annual calendar with a September show in the Twin Cities. A smaller and more urban version of the big energy fair in Wisconsin, the Energy Fair Minnesota includes a Friday networking session for pros and two full days of exhibits and over 100 workshops for people of all ages and experience levels.
Montana Clean Energy Fair
Not to be confused with MREA (Midwest Renewable Energy Association), The Montana Renewable Energy Association also holds its annual Montana Clean Energy Fair in September. The fair will include workshops on solar, wind, alternative fuel vehicles, energy efficiency, and other clean energy technologies; exhibits by clean energy businesses; and an electric car show. Plus there will be food vendors and kids’ activities including a bouncy castle, solar ovens, and model solar car races.
Held in Los Angeles, Sunstock is a 100% solar-powered music festival featuring local. Egonal and nationally-known acts. Sunstock is open to all ages and feaures great music and great food, all powered by the sun.
Solar Power International
Solar Power International (SPI) generates success for solar energy professionals and the global solar industry. SPI sets the standard for solar events as the fastest growing and largest solar show in North America as recognized by Trade Show Executive and Trade Show News Network. SPI has also been among the Gold 100 for seven years running and named “Stickiest Show Floor” by Trade Show Executive for the innovative ways in which attendees stay engaged.
National Solar Home Tour
Sponsored by the American Solar Energy Society, the National Solar Tour is the largest grassroots solar event in the nation, involving over 30,000 participants in over 60 cities and towns nationwide. In conjunction with Energy Awareness month every October, homeowners and businesses in neighborhoods across the country open their doors and show what they’ve done to slash utility bills and help cut pollution from electric generating plants. It offers the opportunity to informally tour innovative green homes and buildings, and see how solar energy can be used efficiently.
The Sustainable Preparedness Expo
Whether your interest is in preparedness, homesteading, or sustainable living, you will find a wealth of information at the Sustainable Preparedness EXPO in Spokane Washington. Featuring training sessions for preparedness-minded attendees, visitors can obtain hard to find equipment, supplies and advice from a wide variety of vendors present at their booths.