Illinois Solar Tour goes hybrid in showcasing homes, businesses across the state

  • This year's Illinois Solar Tour Sept. 25 offers a hybrid in-person and virtual format. Some homeowners, such as Brian Gravenhorst, will offer an in-person tour of his Aurora home.

    This year's Illinois Solar Tour Sept. 25 offers a hybrid in-person and virtual format. Some homeowners, such as Brian Gravenhorst, will offer an in-person tour of his Aurora home. Courtesy of Brian Gravenhorst

Updated 9/16/2021 4:46 PM

More than 60 solar homes and businesses across the state participating in this year's Illinois Solar Tour, which will give thousands of Illinois residents an exclusive in-person or virtual look at the world's fastest growing source of energy.

The Solar Tour, hosted by the Illinois Solar Education Association, is a free experience, including both in-person and virtual events on Saturday, Sept. 25.


The tour allows the public to view real-life examples of nearby businesses and residents who have decided to cut their utility bills by going solar.

Structured prior to the pandemic as a statewide series of open houses, the tour is shifting to a combination of in-person and digital audiences.

Photos and videos of solar homes and businesses in communities throughout the state are available now on the tour website. There, visitors can sign up for in-person or Zoom tours scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.

This year's hybrid format will offer the public a chance to engage and ask questions of solar owners and other enthusiasts like never before.

Brian Gravenhorst's home in Aurora is featured. He decided to go solar because the cost of electricity will never go down and he wanted to do his part for being green.

The in-person and virtual tours are expected to give thousands of people across Illinois a better understanding of renewable energy.

Participants will gain valuable insight on the costs, processes, as well as the economic and environmental benefits of going solar.

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The tour is a great way for the public to learn about the opportunities the technology affords from their own peers and neighbors.

Visit the tour's website to find sites to explore near you:

Participating towns and cities in the tour include but are not limited to: Arlington Heights, Aurora, Batavia, Big Rock, Brookfield, Buffalo Grove, Bull Valley, Carol Stream, Cary, Caseyville, Champaign, Chicago, Crystal Lake, Decatur, Deer Park, Earlville, Elizabeth, Elmhurst, Evanston, Forest Park, Glen Carbon, Glen Ellyn, Grayslake, Highland, Highland Park, Libertyville, Mahomet, Montgomery, Naperville, Oak Park, Prospect Heights, Sandwich, Springfield, Troy, Urbana, West Chicago, Washington, Western Springs, Wheaton, Wilmette, and Woodridge.

The Illinois Solar Education Association is two sister nonprofit organizations -- the Illinois Solar Energy Association and the Illinois Solar Education Association -- that promote the widespread application of solar and other forms of renewable energy through our mission of advocacy and education.

Founded in 1975 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the organization was focused on public education for the majority of its history.

In the last decade, ISEA expanded its efforts to include working to ensure stable policies and regulations for solar development in Illinois. In order to do this work, ISEA founded its sister 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade organization.

The Illinois Solar Education Association is the Illinois chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, and is the state resource for renewable energy-related policy developments, educational classes, events, news, and access to local renewable energy businesses. Visit

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