Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Local interest in solar energy growingSubmitted: 08/19/2013
Story By Lyndsey Stemm

Local interest in solar energy growing
EAGLE RIVER - No matter how high energy prices get, our dependence remains the same. We see alternative energy production booming in other parts of the country, but many people feel like it's just not that feasible here.

One Northwoods couple says it is. Kevin and Marta Church own K and M Services, Inc. They've become certified to install solar panels, and decided to start with their own home.

The churchs aren't completely off the grid. That means they produce their own energy during the day, and use energy from WPS at night. But since the installation last October, the energy they buy from WPS has gone from 1,700 kilowatts per hour, to 400.

When they made the change, they found a lot of people had questions about solar energy.

"Some of the misconceptions are we don't have enough sun. We're on the same latitude line as Germany, and they're the largest solar producer in the world. It's just a matter of trees in the area," says Kevin Church.

The couples 24 panel project cost about $32,000. They hope it will have paid for itself in seven years.

But projects can be on a much smaller scale; even as small as four panels for about $1,500.

Energy companies like WPS encourage people to look into their options.

"For customers that do install solar generation or wind generation, Wisconsin Public Service does have a specific program to buy back any excess energy produced by those programs. It's called our net metering program," says Leah Van Zile, says Wisconsin Public Service.

There are other incentives too. For example, the Churchs got $1,200 from Focus on Energy for their solar panel project. They also got a 30 percent federal tax credit.

The Churchs are among only a handfull of people certified to install solar panels in far Northern Wisconsin. But they say interest is picking up.



Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

CHETEK, WI - A preliminary report from federal aviation investigators says witnesses described hearing an engine backfire before a small plane crashed in Wisconsin last month, killing the teenage pilot and seriously injuring a passenger.

The Leader-Telegram reports that the National Transportation Safety Board interviewed several witnesses who were fishing in a pond near the Red Cedar River at the time of crash on May 24.

+ Read More

Play Video

HAZELHURST - A week and a half ago, the Marathon County Dive Team pulled the body of 41-year-old Dominic Flaminio from the Wisconsin River. He drowned while trying to save his girlfriend's eight-year-old son, who was struggling in the current.

When Greg Bohn saw the story at his home in Hazelhurst, he felt like his heart was ripped out.

"This was so preventable," he remembers thinking.

It also motivated him to keep working on a water safety goal he's been chasing for years.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Managing weeds can be a challenge for many cranberry growers across the state.

James Lake Farms in Three Lakes has been certified organic since 2007.

As organic growers, they are not allowed to use synthetic materials or herbicides to control their weeds.
 
This spring, they purchased weed eating geese from a nursery to help get rid of the weeds.

"We came across an article from 1954 in a trade magazine that showed that one of our marshes had used weeder geese back then in order to reduce the weed pressure, and we thought, well, this might be a novel approach," said owner John Stauner. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Every two years, high school athletes in Wisconsin get the signature of a physician, saying they're healthy to play sports. That signature comes after a physical exam.

Chiropractors can't give that sign-off, but they soon might be allowed to do so. The state Assembly passed a bill which would give chiropractors that privilege.

"The pre-participation exam is certainly extremely important. It is the best way to catch underlying illness and risk factors before athletes participate in sports," said Marshfield Clinic Regional Medical Director Dr. William Melms, who works out of Minocqua.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - When your entire theater production fits in the back of your SUV, you need to know how to do -- and be -- just about everything.

"You kind of have to be the jack of all trades," actor Chris Cummings said.

Cummings is a stagehand, a set designer, and this summer a bug.  He and fellow actor Jennifer Schreiner travel the Midwest out of their Chicago-area homes for the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company, which is based in Portland, Oregon.

+ Read More

FOREST COUNTY - Bringing your pet along to watch fireworks might seem like a fun way to spend the Fourth of July, but you could be doing more harm than good.

July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for most animal shelters.

That's because fearful pets try to escape the bangs and flashes from fireworks and end up lost.

Forest County Humane Society president Jay Schaefer says don't let yourself add to your pet's stress.

Play it down, and make the fireworks a good thing with positive talk and treats.

"They're reading cues from us constantly. So be careful of your body language and the cues you're giving them. If you act like fireworks are a big scary thing they're gonna be like, 'oh my god fireworks are scary,'" says Schaefer.

Exercise can be another way to calm your pet before the big light show.

Burning off the energy earlier in the day may help your pet go to sleep early.

"Take them for a jog on the Fourth of July. I know it's hectic, but do something so they're not all amped up at night when the fireworks go off," says Schaefer.

Like many humans, pets like the smell of lavender.

You can try diffusing the scent around the house to put your pet at ease.

Make sure you have a well-fitting collar and identification tag on your pet.

If flashes are too bright, you might want to close the curtains.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - More than three months passed since family and friends have seen a Plover woman.

Krista Sypher, 44, has been missing since March 13.

Since then Plover police have been investigating.

Wednesday that investigation led them to a landfill in Wisconsin Rapids

Plover Police Chief Dan Ault said they've been searching the Cranberry Creek Landfill since Monday. He wouldn't say what they have or have not found. He also couldn't say how or why the investigation led them to this landfill.

Chief Ault said it's possible they might be back to continue the search on Thursday.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here