We are thankful to We Energies Foundation, Inc. for a grant in 2015 to fund our energy education program and fund the purchase of new education supplies.
Atop the 1870 granary are 55 solar panels. These panels take in energy from the sun during the day and turn it into electricity. Our system is tied into the We Energy grid; we are paid for any excess energy produced by the solar panels and we receive electrical energy if the panels do not produce enough for our needs. Learn more about our We Energies Success Story.
Solar Hot Water
Four solar panels on the south roof of the house provide all the hot water used at the Eco-Justice Center. A heat exchange takes place between the fluid in the panels and the water in the holding tank. On very sunny days the fluid is warmed to 160 degrees. If necessary it is tempered to 125 degrees in the water heater. We aim to conserve water and energy by doing laundry in cold water and using our solar clothes dryer (clothes line)!
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
A filled-in trench, 16 feet wide, 10 feet deep and 100 feet long, located in the field north of the driveway holds 800 feet of fluid-filled tubes. The ground temperature at that depth is a constant 55 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. One can compare it to the temperature of a cave which feels warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The fluid from the tubes is circulated into a heat pump which then raises the temperature 15 degrees to heat the house in winter. In the summer time when the outdoor temperatures are hot, the 55 degrees entering the pump, cools the house.
September 2010 the Eco-Justice Center added wind to it's renewable energy sources. A Bergy Excel - S turbine atop a 140 foot lattice tower provides an additional 10 kW for our electrical needs. We expect this to make us 90% independent of fossil fuels. The system was installed by Kettle View Renewable Energy Inc. located in Random Lake, WI.