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Antigo Public Library wins grant for solar roofing project

Plans for where the new solar panels on the Antigo Public Library roof will go.
Antigo Public Library
Plans for where the new solar panels on the Antigo Public Library roof will go.

The Antigo Public Library is on its way to running mostly off clean energy.

It recently received a $229,450 grant from Wisconsin Public Service Commission’s Energy Innovation Grant Program.

The grant will help pay for an 87.8 kilowatt solar roof installation.

Later this summer, Northwind Solar will install solar panels on the East, South, and West sides of the Antigo Public Library roof.

Library Director Dominic Frandrup has been trying to get the PSC grant for the project for a couple years now.

He says the project should offset about 70% of the library energy cost.

“If we keep seeing energy costs increase, this will be a great way offset a lot of those. Libraries are always after the most bang for our buck and how to be good stewards to the taxpayer’s money,” said Frandrup.

The nearly $230,000 grant from PSC will cover majority of the project’s costs.

The Antigo Library Foundation is matching grants to help cover the rest of the costs. You can learn more about contributing on the library’s website.

Frandrup is excited for the project and what it means for the community.

“I think pretty much since their inception libraries have led their communities in what they have available and what they can offer. It’s not something that’s new. It’s just something that we’ve always done,” said Frandrup.

The grant will also cover the cost for three Tesla Powerwall backup batteries to run critical infrastructure like fire suppression and public wi-fi in case of a power outage.

“That’s been a huge thing the past couple years. We should be able to keep our public wi-fi running since that’s a fairly low voltage,” said Frandrup. “If there’s ever a disaster and people are in need of internet, they’ll have a place to get to and they can still connect with their family and loved ones and the power company.”

The project start date is in August and should take about two weeks to install.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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