Local ‘Tour of Solar Places’ part of National tour

Staff Report

Take a “Tour of Solar Places” in Ogle County and north central Illinois from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, sponsored by the Illinois Renewable Energy Association. The event is part of the Illinois Solar Tour and the American Solar Energy Society’s (ASES) National Solar Tour.

What’s it like to produce your own electricity from the sun and the wind? To live with an independent energy system? Do you need to change your lifestyle? Will the system change the appearance of your home, or can it be blended into the design of your building? What does it cost? How much upkeep is needed?

These and other questions will be answered by home and building owners with solar PV and other renewable energy installations during the tour.

Five sites will be open to the public in Ogle County and north central Illinois. All have grid-tied solar PV and wind generators. Four sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (the Dijstelbergen site will close at 1 p.m.).

Visit the sites that interest you. The event is free.

Following, from south to north, are local Solar Tour participants:

• Victor and Polly Zaderej, 3588 S. Daysville Road, Oregon, Ill.: Super insulated “1-watt” house built on German Passivhaus principles; Solar PV; earth tube.

• Drs. Robert and Sonia Vogl, 1230 E. Honey Creek Road, Oregon, Ill.: Hybrid grid-connected photovoltaic and wind power system with battery backup; stand-alone (cabin-type) photovoltaic installation. Solar greenhouse and hoop house.

• Kickapoo Nature Center, 1919 N. Limekiln Road, Oregon, Ill.: Super insulated “1-watt” building built on German Passivhaus principles. Includes earth tube. Heating from roof monitored by Oak Ridge Lab.

• David Merrill, 139 Perene, Byron, Ill.: Hybrid photovoltaic and wind power system with battery backup. Merrill is an installer.

• Willem and Claudia Dijstelbergen: 8730 N. Triumph Road, Leaf River, Ill. Dijstelbergen built his own inverter in his garage and is building a wind generator.

Illinois Solar Tour

The Illinois Solar Tour is a free, self-guided, statewide open house that demonstrates how Illinois homes and businesses are using solar, wind and geothermal to become energy independent.

Home and business owners with renewable energy installations will be providing tours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6. Tour hosts will answer questions about how to harness the power of the sun and wind to fuel your home and business. Learn how you can reduce your monthly utility bills, increase property values and be part of the energy solution.

Business owners will be interested to see how businesses have reduced their bottom line. Visit a solar-powered airport, a car wash that pays nothing for its hot water, and a farm that harvests the sun and wind along with its crops.

More than 80 sites are featured throughout the state.

To register for this free event and enter to win a solar cell phone charger, visit www.illinoissolartour.org.

National Solar Tour

The ASES National Solar Tour is the world’s largest grassroots solar event. More than 160,000 participants will visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the U.S. The event takes place annually during the first Saturday in October, in conjunction with National Energy Awareness Month.

The National Solar Tour is expected to run in all 50 states this year. A complete list of scheduled events may be found at www.NationalSolarTour.org.

Solar Energy Association

Established in 1975, the Illinois Solar Energy Association (ISEA) is a non-profit organization that promotes the widespread application of renewable energy through education and advocacy.

As the Illinois chapter of the American Solar Energy Society, ISEA is the local resource for educational classes, events, renewable energy-related policy developments, local news and access to local renewable energy vendors.

American Solar Energy Society

For more than 50 years, the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has been leading the renewable energy revolution to advance the use of solar and renewable energy.

ASES leads national efforts to promote solar energy education, public outreach and advocacy. Learn more at www.ases.org.

For more information, contact Lesley McCain at Lesley.mccain@illinoissolar.org or (847) 924-7359.

From the Sept. 19-25, 2012, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!