Loading

51°F

53°F

55°F

51°F

56°F

55°F

61°F

51°F

53°F

61°F

55°F

58°F
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

ONEIDA COUNTY - Invasive species specialists work hard to protect our lakes, but a few areas in Oneida County aren't doing as well as they'd like.

Aquatic experts have found invasive species in four new Oneida County lakes this summer. It's not a great sign, but it also isn't like years ago when someone might find acres of an invasive. However, it's still an issue.

+ Read More

MADISON - New federal filings show a super PAC supporting Gov. Scott Walker's bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination has raised a little more than $20 million over the first 11 weeks or so of its existence

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - The Northwoods makes a great setting for all different kinds of scientific research.

Summer is the busiest time for some researchers at the UW Trout Lake Station, but they took time Friday to hold an open house to show off their research projects.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A 16-year-old male crashed into an electric pole just east of Rhinelander this morning.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Some veterans worry the community will forget war memories as time goes on.

The Montgomery, Plant, Dudley American Legion Post 10 in Wausau wants to remember one group of U.S. allies in the Vietnam War.

That's the Hmong community in Wausau.

"They hunted the Hmong like animals," said Xeng Xiong, a Hmong veteran living in Wausau.

That's how he described living in Laos once his country fell to communism in 1975.

"So they tried everything to kill Hmong men, Hmong soldiers," Xiong said.

Xiong is one of the many Hmong who escaped to the US after the Vietnam War. As a Hmong, he was targeted by the communist government for his involvement with the US.

"They hated the Hmong people because they labeled Hmong men as the number one enemy who supported United States," Xiong said. 

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - The boat looks like something from a science fiction movie as it creeps across Northwoods lakes at night.

Its long arms jut into the water, sending electrical pulses into the lake.

Under a nearly-full moon on a warm July night, it motors across Sparkling Lake in Vilas County.

"We can actually sneak up on them in the evenings, when it's dark out," says Dr. Noah Lottig, who's driving the boat. "They're up there, they don't see us coming, and we can sneak up on them."

+ Read More

Play Video

WISCONSIN - The DNR set new rules for tagging deer hit by a car. The new rules remove local law enforcement from the process.

You no longer have to call police to get a tag issued for a deer carcass, if you want to take it home after an accident.

"The new policy for the DNR shows that you just have to dial a number in order to get a tag issued for a deer on the side of the road instead of having to call a dispatcher to get a deputy on scene," said Oneida County Sheriff's Department Dispatch Brandi Gray.

This has to be done before taking the deer from the scene. The person who hit the deer has the right to take it, but if they don't want the deer, anyone can have it.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here