I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to see that peach in our Rural Renaissance quilt this year, celebrating that we’re heading to my home state of Georgia – and to Macon, to be precise – for this year’s Roadshow! Macon is legendary. It stands proudly next to Motown and Memphis as one of the “3M’s” of music. It’s home to Little Richard, Otis Redding, the Allman Brothers, Mike Mills and Bill Berry of REM, and Jason Aldean – to name a few. Just down the road is where Blue Bird builds EV yellow school buses, and one of the largest solar fields in Georgia is just outside of town.We’ll be gathering at the Harriett Tubman African American Museum, which is kindly hosting us all for two days of joyful fellowship with a distinctly Southeastern focus on topics ranging from Solar for All to regenerative agriculture. I hope you all can come.

We were very deliberate about the “when” of the roadshow. By November 11, we’ll all be two months into implementation of the 60 (!!!) Solar for All Program awards that the EPA is rolling out across the whole of the United States, so it’ll be a perfect time for a Friendsgiving-style celebration of all the good we can do together in what my colleague Kristal Virgil, who is also in ministry, describes as a harvest season.

To get a little preview of what Solar for All, in particular, will mean for the Southeast, I hope you will join our next Rural Renaissance Webinar to hear from two visionary leaders – Wes Kelley from Huntsville, AL, and Marshall Cherry of Roanoke Cooperative in NC. Municipal and rural cooperative utilities were born out of America’s rural electrification movement more than 100 years ago. While much of the national conversation about energy futures revolves around the role of large investor-owned utilities, locally-governed municipal and cooperative utilities have long been innovating and building projects and programs that should inspire us all. I hope you’ll find time to join in this thoughtful, engaged, and open conversation with two of my energy heroes.

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