Host of the annual Illinois Renewable Energy and Sustainable Lifestyle Fair  
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2016 Tours

Time for solar tour 2016!

On October 1, the annual north central Illinois Solar Tour will be held. Six homes and buildings will be open for visitors who are interested in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Owners will be available to discuss their systems and answer questions for all but one system.

Buildings will be open from 10 am – 3 pm.

The tour is free and open to the public. No advance registration is required. Visitors simply stop at the homes that are of interest to them – one or all.

Sites on this year’s tour, from south to north, are:

•  Bob and Sonia Vogl, 1230 E. Honey Creek Rd., Oregon, (732-7332):  Hybrid grid connected photovoltaic and wind power system with battery backup; three separate PV installations; stand alone (cabin type) photovoltaic installation. Hoop house for winter greens. Wood heat using wood collected from the property. Woodland and prairie restorations. Tour organizers.

•  Kickapoo Nature Center, 1919 N. Limekiln Rd., Oregon (cell only):  Super insulated “one-watt” building built on German Passivhaus principles. Includes earth tube. 

• David Merrill, 139 Perene, Byron, (234-2530):  Two systems: hybrid photovoltaic and wind power system with battery backup and grid tied, east - west 6 kW solar system.

• Bruce Roe, 5719 E. Skinner Rd., Stillman Valley (234-8039): Photovoltaic system with two installations to test production in relation to time of use: one facing south; one facing east and west. Projects include eliminating wasted kWh, attempts to construct solar panels, and more.

• Just Goods, Lee Schreiner, 201 7th St, Rockford (965-8903): 8 kW Photovoltaic system; visitors can read what is currently being produced and what has been produced. No tour leader available.

• Klaus and Teri Hoffman, 8232 Pueblo Dr., Rockford, (815-721-4490) Solar hot water using evacuated tubes, provides ~75% of hot water needs, since 2007. Photovoltaics providing more electricity than actually used, now gridtied, started as a backup system more than 10 years ago. Only efficient lighting (mostly LEDs). Added insulation and modern windows. Wood heat providing 50% of heating. Rain water collection for plant watering.

The north central Illinois Solar Tour is hosted by the Illinois Renewable Energy Association as a public service. IREA is a non-profit 501©(3) organization.

Follow us on for information on more events.


Sonia Vogl

1230 E. Honey Creek Rd.

Oregon, IL  61061


Solar Tour October 1, 2016







Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

The Rock River Times


Ogle County Waste Management

Oregon Park District

Northern Public Radio

Radish Magazine


Byron Forest Preserve

Oregon School District


Patchwork Inn