Charlie Stark Is At It Again: Solarize Northfield

In 2008 Metro Transit awarded Charlie Stark with Commuter of the Year and again in 2012 they recognized him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Now Stark is at it again.

Stark made the transition to solar four years ago when he purchased a 7kW solar array for his Northfield home. He received incredible incentives from the State of Minnesota and Xcel Energy, along with a generous Tax Credit from the federal government. His experience prompted him to look further into solar. Now Stark is helping other Northfield Residents go solar for a fraction of the price by teaming up with a Minnesota Solar installer.

Stark has been working to create a database of solar ready homes and the total renewable energy potential of Northfield in partnership with Transition Youth and All Energy Solar. After a partial canvassing of the area they have already found over 700 homes that are viable sites for solar installations and expect to find more. “If each of these 700 homes installed a minimum of five panels it would equate to over 900kW of solar and eliminate over 188 metric tons of co2 emissions annually,” says All Energy Solar VP Brian Allen.

Transition Youth also spearheaded efforts to redesign recycling bins in downtown Northfield earlier this year. So with help from ambitious, future-oriented young people like this, the Solarize Northfield program is sure to be a success.

Solarize Northfield is split into four stages based on the number of residents signed up. Stage one of the program is now complete and residents are already guaranteed stage two pricing. If the program can reach its goal of 180kW by March 31st, the equivalent of 10.3 million driven miles will be saved over the 25-year warrantied life span of the panels, a number that eclipses even the incredible million miles that Charlie saved during his vanpooling days.

With a community program like this, it’s important to ensure that the benefits stay as local as possible. To achieve this goal All Energy Solar is using high quality, American made solar panels and hiring and training local residents like Charlie Stark to complete the installations.

All Energy Solar is a local, family owned company that not only provides quality solar installations, but community outreach and education, helping to teach their neighbors about the importance of and immediate need for energy alternatives. For more information please visit and attend the free seminar at the Just Food Co-op in Northfield on Saturday February 9th at 1:30pm.