Title Tag Length Guidelines: 2016 Edition

Posted by Dr-Pete

For the past couple of weeks, Google has been testing a major change to the width of the left-hand column, expanding containers from 512 pixels to 600 (a 17% increase). Along with this change, Google has increased the available length of result titles:

This naturally begs the question — how many characters can we fit into a display title now? When Google redesigned SERPs in 2014, I recommended a limit of 55 characters. Does a 17% bigger container mean we’ve got 9 more characters to work with?

Not so fast, my friend…

This is where things get messy. It’d be great if we could just count the characters and be done with it, but things are never quite that easy. We’ve got three complications to consider:

(1) Character widths vary

Google uses the Arial font for result titles, and Arial is proportional. In other words, different characters occupy different amounts of space. A lower- case ‘l’ is going to occupy much less space than an upper-case ‘W’. The total width is measured in pixels, not characters, and the maximum amount you can fit in that space depends on what you’re trying to say.

In our 10,000-keyword tracking set, the title below is the longest cut or uncut display title we measured, clocking in at 77 characters:

This title has 14 i’s and lowercase l’s, 10 lowercase t’s, and 3 narrow punctuation marks, creating a character count bonanza. To count this title and say that yours can be 77 characters would be dangerously misleading.

(2) Titles break at whole words

Prior to this change, Google was breaking words at whatever point the cut-off happened. Now, they seem to be breaking titles at whole words. If the cut happens in the middle of a long word, the remaining length might be considerably shorter. For example, here’s a word that’s just not going to fit into your display title twice, and so the cut comes well short of the full width:

(3) Google is appending brands

In some cases, Google is cutting off titles and then appending the brand to the end. Unfortunately, this auto-appended brand text still occupies space and counts against your total allowance. This was the shortest truncated display title in our data set, measuring only 34 words pre-cut:

The brand text “- The Homestead” was appended by Google and is not part of the sites <TITLE> tag. The next word in the title was “Accommodations”, so the combination of the brand add-on and long word made for a very truncated title.

Data from 10,000 searches

Examples can be misleading, so we wanted to take a deeper dive. We pulled all of the page-1 display titles from the 10,000-keyword MozCast tracking set, which ends up being just shy of 90,000 titles. Uncut titles don’t tell us much, since they can be very short in some cases. So, let’s focus on the titles that got cut. Here are the character lengths (not counting ” …”) of the cut titles:

We’ve got a fairly normal distribution (skewed a little to the right) with both a mean and median right around 63. So, is 63 our magic number? Not quite. Roughly half the cut titles in our data set had less than 63 characters, so that’s still a fairly risky length.

The trick is to pick a number where we feel fairly confident that the title won’t be cut off, on average (a guaranteed safe zone for all titles would be far too restrictive). Here are a few select percentages of truncated titles that were above a certain character length:

  • 55% of cut titles >= 63 (+2) characters
  • 91% of cut titles >= 57 (+2) characters
  • 95% of cut titles >= 55 (+2) characters
  • 99% of cut titles >= 48 (+2) characters

In research, we might stick to a 95% or 99% confidence level (note: this isn’t technically a confidence interval, but the rationale is similar), but I think 90% confidence is a decent practical level. If we factor in the ” …”, that gives us about +2 characters. So, my recommendation is to keep your titles under 60 characters (57+2 = 59).

Keep in mind, of course, that cut-offs aren’t always bad. A well placed “…” might actually increase click-through rates on some titles. A fortuitous cut-off could create suspense, if you trust your fortunes to Google:

Now that titles are cut at whole words, we also don’t have to worry about text getting cut off at confusing or unfortunate spots. Take, for example, the dangerous predicament of The International Association of Assemblages of Assassin Assets:

Prior to the redesign, their titles were a minefield. Yes, that contributed nothing to this post, but once I had started down that road, it was already too late.

So, that’s it then, right?

Well, no. As Google evolves and adapts to a wider range of devices, we can expect them to continue to adjust and test display titles. In fact, they’re currently test a new, card-style format for desktop SERPs where each result is boxed and looks like this:

We’re not even entirely sure that the current change is permanent. The narrower format is still appearing for some people under some conditions. If this design sticks, then I’m comfortable saying that keeping your title length under 60 characters will prevent the majority of cut-offs.

Note: People have been asking when we’ll update our title tag tool. We’re waiting to make sure that this design change is permanent, but will try to provide an update ASAP. Updates and a link to that tool will appear in this post when we make a final decision.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

from Raymond Castleberry Blog http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com/2016/05/title-tag-length-guidelines-2016-edition_31.html
via http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com

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Title Tag Length Guidelines: 2016 Edition

Posted by Dr-Pete

For the past couple of weeks, Google has been testing a major change to the width of the left-hand column, expanding containers from 512 pixels to 600 (a 17% increase). Along with this change, Google has increased the available length of result titles:

This naturally begs the question — how many characters can we fit into a display title now? When Google redesigned SERPs in 2014, I recommended a limit of 55 characters. Does a 17% bigger container mean we’ve got 9 more characters to work with?

Not so fast, my friend…

This is where things get messy. It’d be great if we could just count the characters and be done with it, but things are never quite that easy. We’ve got three complications to consider:

(1) Character widths vary

Google uses the Arial font for result titles, and Arial is proportional. In other words, different characters occupy different amounts of space. A lower- case ‘l’ is going to occupy much less space than an upper-case ‘W’. The total width is measured in pixels, not characters, and the maximum amount you can fit in that space depends on what you’re trying to say.

In our 10,000-keyword tracking set, the title below is the longest cut or uncut display title we measured, clocking in at 77 characters:

This title has 14 i’s and lowercase l’s, 10 lowercase t’s, and 3 narrow punctuation marks, creating a character count bonanza. To count this title and say that yours can be 77 characters would be dangerously misleading.

(2) Titles break at whole words

Prior to this change, Google was breaking words at whatever point the cut-off happened. Now, they seem to be breaking titles at whole words. If the cut happens in the middle of a long word, the remaining length might be considerably shorter. For example, here’s a word that’s just not going to fit into your display title twice, and so the cut comes well short of the full width:

(3) Google is appending brands

In some cases, Google is cutting off titles and then appending the brand to the end. Unfortunately, this auto-appended brand text still occupies space and counts against your total allowance. This was the shortest truncated display title in our data set, measuring only 34 words pre-cut:

The brand text “- The Homestead” was appended by Google and is not part of the sites <TITLE> tag. The next word in the title was “Accommodations”, so the combination of the brand add-on and long word made for a very truncated title.

Data from 10,000 searches

Examples can be misleading, so we wanted to take a deeper dive. We pulled all of the page-1 display titles from the 10,000-keyword MozCast tracking set, which ends up being just shy of 90,000 titles. Uncut titles don’t tell us much, since they can be very short in some cases. So, let’s focus on the titles that got cut. Here are the character lengths (not counting ” …”) of the cut titles:

We’ve got a fairly normal distribution (skewed a little to the right) with both a mean and median right around 63. So, is 63 our magic number? Not quite. Roughly half the cut titles in our data set had less than 63 characters, so that’s still a fairly risky length.

The trick is to pick a number where we feel fairly confident that the title won’t be cut off, on average (a guaranteed safe zone for all titles would be far too restrictive). Here are a few select percentages of truncated titles that were above a certain character length:

  • 55% of cut titles >= 63 (+2) characters
  • 91% of cut titles >= 57 (+2) characters
  • 95% of cut titles >= 55 (+2) characters
  • 99% of cut titles >= 48 (+2) characters

In research, we might stick to a 95% or 99% confidence level (note: this isn’t technically a confidence interval, but the rationale is similar), but I think 90% confidence is a decent practical level. If we factor in the ” …”, that gives us about +2 characters. So, my recommendation is to keep your titles under 60 characters (57+2 = 59).

Keep in mind, of course, that cut-offs aren’t always bad. A well placed “…” might actually increase click-through rates on some titles. A fortuitous cut-off could create suspense, if you trust your fortunes to Google:

Now that titles are cut at whole words, we also don’t have to worry about text getting cut off at confusing or unfortunate spots. Take, for example, the dangerous predicament of The International Association of Assemblages of Assassin Assets:

Prior to the redesign, their titles were a minefield. Yes, that contributed nothing to this post, but once I had started down that road, it was already too late.

So, that’s it then, right?

Well, no. As Google evolves and adapts to a wider range of devices, we can expect them to continue to adjust and test display titles. In fact, they’re currently test a new, card-style format for desktop SERPs where each result is boxed and looks like this:

We’re not even entirely sure that the current change is permanent. The narrower format is still appearing for some people under some conditions. If this design sticks, then I’m comfortable saying that keeping your title length under 60 characters will prevent the majority of cut-offs.

Note: People have been asking when we’ll update our title tag tool. We’re waiting to make sure that this design change is permanent, but will try to provide an update ASAP. Updates and a link to that tool will appear in this post when we make a final decision.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

from Raymond Castleberry Blog http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com/2016/05/title-tag-length-guidelines-2016-edition.html
via http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com

Solarize Delta County nears Halfway Mark! 55 Homes and Businesses Registered so Far!

Educational events for June Announced

Installers from Empowered Energy Systems, LLC of Hotchkiss just finished the first installation in a series of new solar PV systems springing up around Delta County. A brand new 25 kW commercial system now sits atop workspace solutions ProSpace’s roof in Delta. The system is sized to produce some 35,000 kWh/year of energy. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to offsetting 60,000 miles of emissions by an average passenger vehicle or the carbon sequestered by 23.2 acres of local forest, each year!

The federal tax credit of 30%, combined with annual deductions for commercial clients

(Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System), made the investment a “no-brainer” said ProSpace Interiors, and Delta County Economic Development (DCED), INC Vice President Tom Huerkamp. The added incentive of Solarize tiered rebates only sweetened the deal. “It just makes economic sense to do this” Huerkamp continued “and then there is the community reason to do it.”

Solarize Delta County is a nonprofit outreach program sponsored by Solar Energy International in partnership with DCED, to increase the accessibility and affordability of solar energy for all Delta County residents. Solarize Delta County seeks to raise awareness of solar, lower the cost of solar electric (PV) systems, and significantly ramp up adoption of PV throughout Delta County.

More energy produced locally means more money that stays in the community, and with it the potential for job creation. The program is an expansion of the 2015 Solarize North Fork Valley effort that resulted in over $400,000 of local investment in solar and installation of 23 residential systems, totaling 120kW. The local installers hired six new employees to handle the demand.

Whether the motivation is energy independence, reducing carbon footprint, or plain economic sense, more residents in Delta County are flipping the switch to produce their own affordable, solar energy, thanks to Solarize Delta County. Solarize Delta County is nearing the halfway point of a 3 month outreach program, with 55 homes and businesses currently registered for a free remote site assessment, to learn more about going solar. The program offers a tiered rebate system that increases savings as more  neighbors sign contracts to install PV systems. Already the program is a fourth of the way to its first rebate level of 100kW of total contracted solar, where participants will receive an additional $400 off per system.

Interested residents can register by July 15th to participate and receive a free remote site assessment, to learn about their solar options and assist with identifying financing options. Solarize Delta County is hosting outreach and social events to educate and guide potential solar candidates through a streamlined assessment and installation process. All events are FREE and neighbors are encouraged to attend to learn more about going solar, the Solarize way:

  • June 8th- “Reduce then Produce” Energy Efficiency event with DMEA- Cedaredge Library, 6-7:30 PM
  • June 13th- Solar Cocktail Hour / Meet the Installers, Old Mad Dog Cafe-Crawford, 5 – 7PM
  • June 14th- “Reduce then Produce” Energy Efficiency event with DMEA- Hotchkiss Memorial Hall attached to the Hotchkiss Library, 6-7:30 PM
  • June 18th- Solar &amp; Wine Tour of Mesa Winds Farm &amp; Winery and Alfred Eames Cellars, with guided van leaving Solar Energy International at 1:00. Welcome to drive separately.
  • June 20th- Screening of “Catching the Sun” at Paradise Theater
  • June 21st- Hotchkiss Chamber “Business After Hours” at Hotchkiss Fire Station. Meet the Installers and learn about the Fire Station’s PV Solar System! 5:30-7:00 PM

 

For more information or to participate: 

Go Solar. Simply. Together. Solarize Delta County!

The post Solarize Delta County nears Halfway Mark! 55 Homes and Businesses Registered so Far! appeared first on Solar Training – Solar Installer Training – Solar PV Installation Training – Solar Energy Courses – Renewable Energy Education – NABCEP – Solar Energy International (SEI).

from Raymond Castleberry Blog http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com/2016/05/solarize-delta-county-nears-halfway.html
via http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com

Solarize Delta County nears Halfway Mark! 55 Homes and Businesses Registered so Far!

Educational events for June Announced

Installers from Empowered Energy Systems, LLC of Hotchkiss just finished the first installation in a series of new solar PV systems springing up around Delta County. A brand new 25 kW commercial system now sits atop workspace solutions ProSpace’s roof in Delta. The system is sized to produce some 35,000 kWh/year of energy. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to offsetting 60,000 miles of emissions by an average passenger vehicle or the carbon sequestered by 23.2 acres of local forest, each year!

The federal tax credit of 30%, combined with annual deductions for commercial clients

(Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System), made the investment a “no-brainer” said ProSpace Interiors, and Delta County Economic Development (DCED), INC Vice President Tom Huerkamp. The added incentive of Solarize tiered rebates only sweetened the deal. “It just makes economic sense to do this” Huerkamp continued “and then there is the community reason to do it.”

Solarize Delta County is a nonprofit outreach program sponsored by Solar Energy International in partnership with DCED, to increase the accessibility and affordability of solar energy for all Delta County residents. Solarize Delta County seeks to raise awareness of solar, lower the cost of solar electric (PV) systems, and significantly ramp up adoption of PV throughout Delta County.

More energy produced locally means more money that stays in the community, and with it the potential for job creation. The program is an expansion of the 2015 Solarize North Fork Valley effort that resulted in over $400,000 of local investment in solar and installation of 23 residential systems, totaling 120kW. The local installers hired six new employees to handle the demand.

Whether the motivation is energy independence, reducing carbon footprint, or plain economic sense, more residents in Delta County are flipping the switch to produce their own affordable, solar energy, thanks to Solarize Delta County. Solarize Delta County is nearing the halfway point of a 3 month outreach program, with 55 homes and businesses currently registered for a free remote site assessment, to learn more about going solar. The program offers a tiered rebate system that increases savings as more  neighbors sign contracts to install PV systems. Already the program is a fourth of the way to its first rebate level of 100kW of total contracted solar, where participants will receive an additional $400 off per system.

Interested residents can register by July 15th to participate and receive a free remote site assessment, to learn about their solar options and assist with identifying financing options. Solarize Delta County is hosting outreach and social events to educate and guide potential solar candidates through a streamlined assessment and installation process. All events are FREE and neighbors are encouraged to attend to learn more about going solar, the Solarize way:

  • June 8th- “Reduce then Produce” Energy Efficiency event with DMEA- Cedaredge Library, 6-7:30 PM
  • June 13th- Solar Cocktail Hour / Meet the Installers, Old Mad Dog Cafe-Crawford, 5 – 7PM
  • June 14th- “Reduce then Produce” Energy Efficiency event with DMEA- Hotchkiss Memorial Hall attached to the Hotchkiss Library, 6-7:30 PM
  • June 18th- Solar &amp; Wine Tour of Mesa Winds Farm &amp; Winery and Alfred Eames Cellars, with guided van leaving Solar Energy International at 1:00. Welcome to drive separately.
  • June 20th- Screening of “Catching the Sun” at Paradise Theater
  • June 21st- Hotchkiss Chamber “Business After Hours” at Hotchkiss Fire Station. Meet the Installers and learn about the Fire Station’s PV Solar System! 5:30-7:00 PM

 

For more information or to participate: 

Go Solar. Simply. Together. Solarize Delta County!

The post Solarize Delta County nears Halfway Mark! 55 Homes and Businesses Registered so Far! appeared first on Solar Training – Solar Installer Training – Solar PV Installation Training – Solar Energy Courses – Renewable Energy Education – NABCEP – Solar Energy International (SEI).

Solarize Delta County nears Halfway Mark! 55 Homes and Businesses Registered so Far!

Educational events for June Announced

Installers from Empowered Energy Systems, LLC of Hotchkiss just finished the first installation in a series of new solar PV systems springing up around Delta County. A brand new 25 kW commercial system now sits atop workspace solutions ProSpace’s roof in Delta. The system is sized to produce some 35,000 kWh/year of energy. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to offsetting 60,000 miles of emissions by an average passenger vehicle or the carbon sequestered by 23.2 acres of local forest, each year!

The federal tax credit of 30%, combined with annual deductions for commercial clients

(Modified Accelerated Cost-Recovery System), made the investment a “no-brainer” said ProSpace Interiors, and Delta County Economic Development (DCED), INC Vice President Tom Huerkamp. The added incentive of Solarize tiered rebates only sweetened the deal. “It just makes economic sense to do this” Huerkamp continued “and then there is the community reason to do it.”

Solarize Delta County is a nonprofit outreach program sponsored by Solar Energy International in partnership with DCED, to increase the accessibility and affordability of solar energy for all Delta County residents. Solarize Delta County seeks to raise awareness of solar, lower the cost of solar electric (PV) systems, and significantly ramp up adoption of PV throughout Delta County.

More energy produced locally means more money that stays in the community, and with it the potential for job creation. The program is an expansion of the 2015 Solarize North Fork Valley effort that resulted in over $400,000 of local investment in solar and installation of 23 residential systems, totaling 120kW. The local installers hired six new employees to handle the demand.

Whether the motivation is energy independence, reducing carbon footprint, or plain economic sense, more residents in Delta County are flipping the switch to produce their own affordable, solar energy, thanks to Solarize Delta County. Solarize Delta County is nearing the halfway point of a 3 month outreach program, with 55 homes and businesses currently registered for a free remote site assessment, to learn more about going solar. The program offers a tiered rebate system that increases savings as more  neighbors sign contracts to install PV systems. Already the program is a fourth of the way to its first rebate level of 100kW of total contracted solar, where participants will receive an additional $400 off per system.

Interested residents can register by July 15th to participate and receive a free remote site assessment, to learn about their solar options and assist with identifying financing options. Solarize Delta County is hosting outreach and social events to educate and guide potential solar candidates through a streamlined assessment and installation process. All events are FREE and neighbors are encouraged to attend to learn more about going solar, the Solarize way:

  • June 8th- “Reduce then Produce” Energy Efficiency event with DMEA- Cedaredge Library, 6-7:30 PM
  • June 13th- Solar Cocktail Hour / Meet the Installers, Old Mad Dog Cafe-Crawford, 5 – 7PM
  • June 14th- “Reduce then Produce” Energy Efficiency event with DMEA- Hotchkiss Memorial Hall attached to the Hotchkiss Library, 6-7:30 PM
  • June 18th- Solar &amp; Wine Tour of Mesa Winds Farm &amp; Winery and Alfred Eames Cellars, with guided van leaving Solar Energy International at 1:00. Welcome to drive separately.
  • June 20th- Screening of “Catching the Sun” at Paradise Theater
  • June 21st- Hotchkiss Chamber “Business After Hours” at Hotchkiss Fire Station. Meet the Installers and learn about the Fire Station’s PV Solar System! 5:30-7:00 PM

 

For more information or to participate: 

Go Solar. Simply. Together. Solarize Delta County!

The post Solarize Delta County nears Halfway Mark! 55 Homes and Businesses Registered so Far! appeared first on Solar Training – Solar Installer Training – Solar PV Installation Training – Solar Energy Courses – Renewable Energy Education – NABCEP – Solar Energy International (SEI).

North Fork Solar Fair Draws Record Crowd

Community Turns Out to Learn & Act for Local Solutions

PAONIA CO – Since soon after the earliest settlers moved into Colorado’s North Fork Valley it has relied on two major forces to drive its economy: energy and agriculture. This year the North Fork Solar Fair & Permaculture Expo built on that proud heritage with a fun, dynamic, and hugely popular event. Nearly 300 people participated, a threefold increase from its 2015 debut. The record crowd turned out to learn about and participate in this year’s theme: Cultivate Community & Homegrown Energy.

The North Fork is home to Solar Energy International (SEI), which hosted the event at its Paonia headquarters and campus, and was one of three sponsoring organizations. SEI is the world’s leading training institute for solar energy and alternative power systems—and is currently leading a collaborative local project to “Solarize Delta County.”

“Solar Energy International is honored to host this annual fair and expo,” said Gerald Espinosa, event organizer, and coordinator for Solarize Delta County. “We are bringing solar energy not only to communities around the world, but generating more of it right here in Delta County and the Western Slope. The Solar Fair is a chance to highlight and build from that work.”  

Colorado’s North Fork Valley is an area in transition still firmly rooted in its small-town, rural past. Home to orchards since the first white residents in the 1880s and a coalmining community since soon thereafter, change has often come slowly to the area. Or all at once as commodity markets stumble. The most recent downturn has idled local mines, and spurred discussion about ways to have a robust economy, engage the future, honor the area’s roots, and protect the character of a cherished place.

Expanded significantly from last year’s, the event this year highlighted the great work being done regionally to transition toward cleaner power supplies and also featured workshops and exhibits on permaculture and biodynamics. These were facilitated by The Learning Council, the second sponsoring partner – and included offerings for kids and adults.  

“We greatly enjoyed bringing new learning opportunities to this year’s Solar Fair,” said Alicia Michelsen of The Learning Council. “A strong community can weather change just fine, and coming together to share skills and celebrate each other is how we build strength.”

The 2016 Solar Fair & Permaculture Expo included food vendors, local drink, and over 15 exhibitors—including solar companies, the area’s electric cooperative, nonprofit organizations, and several local businesses.

Vendors, partners and exhibitors donated over two dozen prizes that were given away during the event. Musical acts included the Blue Sage Exploratory Chorus and the Solar Brothers. URSA! URSA! an effort comprised of musicians from the bands Grizzly Pears and Free the Honey closed the evening. All agreed after the success of this year’s event: The Solar Fair in 2017 will be even better!

“This year we all experienced the homegrown energy we can cultivate through community coming together,” said Pete Kolbenschlag a lead organizer of the event, and board member of the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance, the third sponsoring partner. “Big B’s Juices and Ciders and Revolution Brewing, along with the door prize donors, workshop leaders, exhibitors, and our great musicians all deserve a special measure of gratitude.”

The 2016 Solar Fair was sponsored in partnership by three area no-nprofit organizations. The sponsoring partners each brought a unique mission to their role in the event, showing that shared effort can come together in a way that can find opportunity in even the toughest challenges.

“On behalf of the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance, Solar Energy International, and The Learning Council we want to thank all who attended and made this year’s event so successful,” Kolbenschlag concluded as a shared statement from the sponsoring groups.

Solar Energy International provides industry-leading training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities, and businesses worldwide. The Colorado Farm & Food Alliance  connects people from farm-to-table by engaging local the farm and food movement in climate and conservation action. The Learning Council is a community organization providing educational options that celebrate the Arts and Agriculture.

Written by: Pete Kolbenschlag of Colorado Farm and Food Alliance

 

# # #

Photos of the 2016 Solar Fair and Permaculture Expo are available by calling Pete Kolbenschlag at 970-261-0678 or via email at Pete@MountainWestStrategies.com.

The post North Fork Solar Fair Draws Record Crowd appeared first on Solar Training – Solar Installer Training – Solar PV Installation Training – Solar Energy Courses – Renewable Energy Education – NABCEP – Solar Energy International (SEI).

from Raymond Castleberry Blog http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com/2016/05/north-fork-solar-fair-draws-record-crowd.html
via http://raymondcastleberry.blogspot.com

North Fork Solar Fair Draws Record Crowd

Community Turns Out to Learn & Act for Local Solutions

PAONIA CO – Since soon after the earliest settlers moved into Colorado’s North Fork Valley it has relied on two major forces to drive its economy: energy and agriculture. This year the North Fork Solar Fair & Permaculture Expo built on that proud heritage with a fun, dynamic, and hugely popular event. Nearly 300 people participated, a threefold increase from its 2015 debut. The record crowd turned out to learn about and participate in this year’s theme: Cultivate Community & Homegrown Energy.

The North Fork is home to Solar Energy International (SEI), which hosted the event at its Paonia headquarters and campus, and was one of three sponsoring organizations. SEI is the world’s leading training institute for solar energy and alternative power systems—and is currently leading a collaborative local project to “Solarize Delta County.”

“Solar Energy International is honored to host this annual fair and expo,” said Gerald Espinosa, event organizer, and coordinator for Solarize Delta County. “We are bringing solar energy not only to communities around the world, but generating more of it right here in Delta County and the Western Slope. The Solar Fair is a chance to highlight and build from that work.”  

Colorado’s North Fork Valley is an area in transition still firmly rooted in its small-town, rural past. Home to orchards since the first white residents in the 1880s and a coalmining community since soon thereafter, change has often come slowly to the area. Or all at once as commodity markets stumble. The most recent downturn has idled local mines, and spurred discussion about ways to have a robust economy, engage the future, honor the area’s roots, and protect the character of a cherished place.

Expanded significantly from last year’s, the event this year highlighted the great work being done regionally to transition toward cleaner power supplies and also featured workshops and exhibits on permaculture and biodynamics. These were facilitated by The Learning Council, the second sponsoring partner – and included offerings for kids and adults.  

“We greatly enjoyed bringing new learning opportunities to this year’s Solar Fair,” said Alicia Michelsen of The Learning Council. “A strong community can weather change just fine, and coming together to share skills and celebrate each other is how we build strength.”

The 2016 Solar Fair & Permaculture Expo included food vendors, local drink, and over 15 exhibitors—including solar companies, the area’s electric cooperative, nonprofit organizations, and several local businesses.

Vendors, partners and exhibitors donated over two dozen prizes that were given away during the event. Musical acts included the Blue Sage Exploratory Chorus and the Solar Brothers. URSA! URSA! an effort comprised of musicians from the bands Grizzly Pears and Free the Honey closed the evening. All agreed after the success of this year’s event: The Solar Fair in 2017 will be even better!

“This year we all experienced the homegrown energy we can cultivate through community coming together,” said Pete Kolbenschlag a lead organizer of the event, and board member of the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance, the third sponsoring partner. “Big B’s Juices and Ciders and Revolution Brewing, along with the door prize donors, workshop leaders, exhibitors, and our great musicians all deserve a special measure of gratitude.”

The 2016 Solar Fair was sponsored in partnership by three area no-nprofit organizations. The sponsoring partners each brought a unique mission to their role in the event, showing that shared effort can come together in a way that can find opportunity in even the toughest challenges.

“On behalf of the Colorado Farm & Food Alliance, Solar Energy International, and The Learning Council we want to thank all who attended and made this year’s event so successful,” Kolbenschlag concluded as a shared statement from the sponsoring groups.

Solar Energy International provides industry-leading training and expertise in renewable energy to empower people, communities, and businesses worldwide. The Colorado Farm & Food Alliance  connects people from farm-to-table by engaging local the farm and food movement in climate and conservation action. The Learning Council is a community organization providing educational options that celebrate the Arts and Agriculture.

Written by: Pete Kolbenschlag of Colorado Farm and Food Alliance

 

# # #

Photos of the 2016 Solar Fair and Permaculture Expo are available by calling Pete Kolbenschlag at 970-261-0678 or via email at Pete@MountainWestStrategies.com.

The post North Fork Solar Fair Draws Record Crowd appeared first on Solar Training – Solar Installer Training – Solar PV Installation Training – Solar Energy Courses – Renewable Energy Education – NABCEP – Solar Energy International (SEI).