From press release
“Hoo” Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center recently went “green” with its first large-scale renewable energy project. The new photovoltaic green energy system is helping to generate electricity for the Hoo Haven facility. The benefits to the facility, the community, the environment and the wildlife extend far beyond “Hoo” Haven.
“Hoo” Haven is excited to use this project to educate the community about the benefits and importance of renewable energy sources. As part of the project’s community education goal, real-time graphing and power generation data is now available on their Web site www.hoohaven.org (Click on “NEWS”). This Web page is especially useful for teachers and students interested in learning about alternative energy use locally. Live Solar Electric Generation monitoring is provided through Microspecialists and Fat Spaniel Technologies. The site provides simple data or a more detailed picture of the energy produced by the solar panel system. A section named Environmental Benefits offers a kid-friendly glimpse at how the energy created could support everyday items such as televisions, computers, homes, etc. It also offers information about the amount of pollution prevented and greenhouse gases avoided by use of renewable energy at Hoo Haven.
The facility hopes to be a model for other organizations in the community and/or region. “It’s important for me as director of ‘Hoo’ Haven to ‘walk our talk’ and to be an example of ‘going green’ to help Mother Earth. It makes me feel good to realize how much we are helping the environment,” stated Karen Herdklotz. A $30,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation helped to provide more than half of the funding needed to purchase and install the 5Kw solar photovoltaic (PV) system on the “Hoo” Haven property. The solar power generator now feeds several buildings including the medical facility, eight animal enclosures, walk-in freezer and refrigerators. The Marlys Bulander Eagle Flight Recovery Center is also powered by the solar PV system.
Steven J. Herdklotz, one of “Hoo” Haven’s founding directors, designed and installed the system and expects that it will reduce the monthly energy expenses. According to Herdklotz, “The energy savings will be quite a bit of help at ‘Hoo’ Haven. Being an electrician, it’s enjoyable to see more alternative energy sources, and it was fun to set up and work on. On our Web site, you can see the energy produced and the CO2 emissions that were not put into our atmosphere.”
In addition, the use of “net metering” and connection to the Com Ed utility grid allows “Hoo” Haven to store excess power generated to be used as needed. The facility plans to reapply for a grant to support a wind turbine to further its renewable energy efforts. Information about this Renewable Energy Project (and photographs) will be available on the Web site as the project gets closer. Steven Herdklotz will be available to answer any questions by calling the facility. Hoo Haven will have a booth at the upcoming “Earth Day” celebrations at Rock Valley College April 24.
“Hoo” Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization in northern Winnebago County. The mission of Hoo Haven is to rehabilitate and release North American wildlife and to educate the community about wildlife conservation.
From the March 17-23, 2010 issue