Driving on sunshine at the MREA's annual energy fair

By Brian Will, WSAW      

CUSTER, Wis. (WSAW) -- The 29th annual Midwest Renewable Energy Association's energy fair kicked off on Friday. The big event was marked with a special ribbon cutting of a first of it's kind electric car charging station for the area.

The solar canopy is designed to charge electric vehicles and provide hands on training at the MREA's headquarters in Custer, Wisconsin.

It's part of the 'Driving on Sunshine' project that was developed to showcase the possibility of powering personal transportation with clean solar energy.

Something James Kerbel, who owns an electric car, has been waiting on. "Now I have no carbon pollution of any kid to leave for the next generation. My home, my business and my vehicles are now going to be green powered," explained Kerbel.

The MREA was able to use online fundraising and the annual fair to raise enough money to cover the cost of the solar canopy.

Representative Katrina Shankland thinks it's a gamechanger for central Wisconsin. "It's really groudbreaking for central Wisconsin and the whole state. People who are making the drive from Madison to Mincoqua or somewhere else in the state could stop here too. It's really good exposure to central Wisconsin."

The company behind the construction of this solar charging station thinks it's the way of the future. "I think we'll see this happen. A lot of other states such as Maryland and Massachusetts are putting incentives programs to really spur this kind of innovation and speed up the electrician of the transportation industry," said John Frederick, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Poly-Tex.

The new charging station is just one of the many things at this year's fair.

The fair runs Friday - Sunday. You can find more information at their website.