Smokin’ Rob’s in Gallipolis Goes Solar

Our Development Director had the chance to visit businesses in Gallia County, Ohio in late July (2017) to make them aware of our REDA – Renewable Energy Development Assistance – Program. This program offers free renewable energy assessments for solar, geothermal, and bio-gas collection as a way to spur further community investment by business while growing support for renewable technologies.

Pictured above is Smokin’ Rob’s Smoke-Corks-N’Ales in Gallipolis, Ohio with a fairly large solar photovoltaic (PV) array just above the drive-thru entrance. Solar systems come in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and applications. This system produces electric power – electricity is what the “PV” term indicates. Some businesses utilize solar thermal systems to capture sunlight to keep water warm, and thus, use less total energy from the utility grid for water heating.


Arun Sharma, manager of the store, sees the investment as a move to help future generations. This is a common thread among solar advocates and shows the positive social benefits solar power can have in mobilizing others on the fence to see the light.

“There are two primary reasons we went solar,” Sharma said, “1) the return on investment was a good financial decision and 2) in an area where coal is the dominate narrative, going solar is a good conversation starter away from the darker, coal story.” Sharma believes as more solar companies make their way to Gallia County, competition among solar installers, and the increased visibility that comes from that competition, will make a big difference in getting more businesses deciding to make the switch to solar.

We 100% agree.

The Smokin’ Rob’s solar story shows that many businesses are making the switch to solar for admirable reasons, not purely for economic reasons. Third Sun Solar – founded in Athens County – was the installer for the project and helped them secure a REAP grant through the USDA. UpGrade Ohio works with Third Sun Solar to secure REAP grants that cover 25% of the total cost of the installation on top of the 30% federal tax credit.

Make the leap like Smokin’ Rob and sign-up for a free solar assessment now: