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Hearing planned in Hurley on Gogebic Taconite's plans to gather samplesSubmitted: 08/02/2013
Story By Associated Press

HURLEY - A hearing in Hurley later this month will let people have their say on Gogebic Taconite's plans for gathering rock samples.

Gogebic Taconite is looking to dig a 4-mile-long open pit mine in the Penokee Hills, south of Lake Superior.

The company has asked the DNR for permission to remove 4,000 tons of rock from the site for testing.

Original plans had been to blast, but that may not be necessary.

A revised plan from the company went to the DNR.

It calls for collecting sample rock from rubble left behind when U.S. Steel blasted the area in the early 1960s.

That would eliminate the need for any new blasting.

The DNR has scheduled a public hearing on the company's proposal for August 15th in Hurley.

The hearing is slated to last all day.

The agency will take written comments on the plan through September 3rd as well.

(Copyright 2013 Associated Press - All Rights Reserved)


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It's part of a project tribal leaders have worked on for more than a year, and they hope it will save the community a lot in energy costs.

Tribal leaders applied and received a couple million dollars in grants from the U.S. Energy Department and the Housing and Urban Development Department. Then they started working with a Pewaukee-based company called SunVest Solar, Inc., and started installing the panels on homes and businesses in 
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Now, they are almost done.

According to SunVest Solar, this is the largest per capital solar array installation in the Midwest. Tribal Administrator Jeff Ackley, Jr., says 50 homes and 17 businesses have solar panels.

"Most of the state of Wisconsin has less than one percent of its generation coming from solar and now you have a community where almost 50 percent of the homes get their power from the sun," said Adam Gusse, head of operations at SunVest Solar, Inc.

"I thought it would put us on the map," Ackley said.

Project leaders think the panels can produce up to 85 percent of power in homes and between 20 and 60 percent for businesses.

"It will be significant savings all around for the community," Ackley said. "From rough crunchings of numbers we're looking at probably saving between $60,000 and $80,000 per year on energy usage."

The first batch of panels turned on in November, and some people say they've already seen the savings.

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Gusse said the panels don't produce as much power in the winter as they will in the summer, but residents still save money.

Tribal leaders can apply for more grants to put panels on more homes. 

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