Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

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


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

RHINELANDER - The City of Rhinelander and Oneida County will consider borrowing $15 million to help develop a manufacturer in Rhinelander, according to an Oneida County Economic Development Corporation release Tuesday.

The money would help Rhinelander Coated Products start work inside the former Printpack building on Kemp Street.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - Pilots find very little room for error when they make a landing.  Wings, flaps, and landing gear all need to work properly.  Then there's the runway itself, which needs to be flat and smooth.

So, when pilots found ruts and divots torn into the grass runway at Boulder Junction's airport, folks were more than upset--they were worried about safe landings.  Airfield president Jeff Long thinks someone used a pickup truck to do the damage.  It happened right before the airfield's busiest weekend of the year, the Musky Day fly-in.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - School is the way to success, but with that path comes a huge price tag. Gov. Scott Walker stopped by Northcentral Technical College in Wausau to discuss student debt.

At the conference Walker put an emphasis on the importance of financial literacy.

The President of NTC,  Dr. Lori Weyers, said, "All of the students at NTC do go through financial literacy information, and what I think the governor is trying to do is make sure we do that will all students and parents so they understand that."



+ Read More

MADISON - New state regulations designed to retain teachers are going into effect.

The package was published Tuesday. The provisions allow retired teachers or teachers nearing retirement to apply for a nonrenewable five-year license without submitting a professional development plan. They also increase the time that short-term substitute teachers can serve in the same assignment from 20 days to 45 days.

+ Read More

KNOWLTON - When you think of Wisconsin, you probably think of the Packers, dairy, and beer. One of the quintessential things that makes this state great is its cheese, and you'll find no shortage of that in northcentral Wisconsin. The largest family-owned cheese factory in the state is right in our own backyard, and it continues to push its limits in the industry.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - A suit filed in Vilas County may determine how much you pay for a gallon of gas.

Krist Oil Company filed a lawsuit Monday in Vilas County Circuit Court challenging Wisconsin's minimum markup law on gasoline.

+ Read More

Play Video

THREE LAKES - Pollinators play an essential role in the growth of plants, and it's not just bees that help pollinate.

Butterflies, bats, and even mosquitoes are pollinators, but those populations have been in decline in recent years.

"Across the U.S., pollinators have been seeing big declines," said Oneida County Conservationist Michele Sadauskas. "We've been hearing more and more about our honeybee pollinations. The monarch populations have had dramatic decreases. So we're seeing it across the board."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here