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

WAUSAU - On Monday night, Wausau's Public Health and Safety Committee put two entrepreneurs another step closer to starting a new kind of business in the city.

Ashley Sampson and Dan Dadabo want to start a commercial quadricycle business, better known as a pedal pub.

+ Read More

ANTIGO - Our ancestors used small-batch botanical medicine when they had a health problem.

That tradition is still carried on in Antigo.

Mortar and Pestle opened its doors one week ago.

Owner Kelly Keyser-Millar has been making batches of her botanical medicine and selling it online since last November.

The storefront allows her to make custom medicine based on people's needs in combination with the prescriptions they may already be taking.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - For one Saturday in October, the cafeteria at Lakeland Union High School is transformed. 

Instead of a place to feed teenagers, it becomes a place to package meals for thousands of people all around the world.

"It is just phenomenal to watch," said Susie Breiten.

+ Read More

Play Video

KRONENWETTER - A near-perfect sunny day provided the perfect backdrop for the latest addition outside Ryan Wiechmann's school.

"Oh, it's monstrous!" Wiechmann said.

A towering array of solar panels shimmered in the sun over Wiechmann's shoulder at Northland Lutheran High School in Kronenwetter.  Monday, the school and family members celebrated the addition to Wisconsin Public Service's SolarWise for Schools program.

+ Read More

MADISON - House Speaker Paul Ryan says he does not want to "shovel more money at a failing program" to replace federal subsidies that President Donald Trump is eliminating that help make health insurance more affordable.

Ryan told reporters Monday that he supports the president's decision last week to end the subsidies. In Ryan's home state of Wisconsin the loss of the subsidies is projected to result in premiums increasing 36 percent for the average insurance plan sold through the federal exchange.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - Businesses and groups in Antigo will spend hours drawing, planning, and stacking cans of food this week.

The city hopes to surpass last year's total of more than six tons of food donated to the Antigo Community Food Pantry.

The Pinnacle Team of Thrivent Financial and the pantry started the Canstruction contest in 2013.

This year, 17 businesses and organizations will build structures out of cans and items needed by the pantry.

+ Read More

Play Video

WHITE LAKE - More than 60 percent of students in White Lake schools come from families with financial challenges, letting those students qualify for free or reduced-cost meals at school.

But the district views that as just a number.

"We just see kids. We don't see whether they have needs or not. We just see kids, and we do the best we can to meet whatever needs they come with on a daily basis," said White Lake K-12 Principal Glenda Boldig.

Boldig's mission is helped by a motivated community volunteer, Sally Mulhollon.

"I know what it was like to be without," said Mulhollon.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here