PHILLIPS, Wis. (WJFW) – Recently, a $1.2 Million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant was offered to Wisconsin farmers and small rural businesses to improve their energy costs. Northwoods Dentistry in Phillips received part of the grant and is using it to make their business more energy-efficient. Owner of Northwoods Dentistry, Mike Murphy, said they received around $28,000 from the USDA grant to help them install a new set of solar panels. Murphy said even before this opportunity, they were looking into saving energy.

“With a dental office, we use a lot of electricity and have a busy office, “said Murphy. “We’ve already been switching many of our lights to LED over the years.” Last fall, Murphy received a notification about the grant from Olson Solar Energy, and he decided to work with them to write an application to receive the grant.

“We got notified that we received it in December, and they put the panels on in February, and we just hooked up the energy two weeks ago,” said Murphy. There are now 51 solar panels on the roof of Northwoods Dentistry, and Murphy says he believes it could cut their energy costs in half, saving around $109,000 in 25 years. Murphy said he also has Olson’s solar panels at his house and was very pleased with his savings.

“Here I expect the same thing, you know. I got an app on my phone where I can see what the solar panels are doing and what kind of energy we produce each day,” said Murphy. This year, the solar panel system is estimated to produce 26,000 Kilowatt-hours annually. Murphy said along with the solar panels, they have plans to improve more.

“This building is 60 plus years old, and we are actually going to renovate the whole thing this fall. Getting that done before this next project was good because we knew the roof was in good shape already,” said Murphy.



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