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Celebrating renewable energy in Wisconsin

Posted by: april
June 19, 2010

April E. ClarkBy April E. Clark
Solar Energy International's Energy Fair Correspondent


CUSTER, Wisconsin — I love renewable energy industry conferences.

As of this weekend's event  — the 21st Midwest Renewable Energy Fair (MREF) in Custer, Wisc. — I am four deep. I met many of my new solar friends (great industry folks I see at all the conferences now) at Solar Power International in Anaheim, Calif, last October.

There were men and women in suits. Booths with espresso. And meats on a stick.

This weekend's Energy Fair is a different scene altogether.

These men and women prefer organic cottons. Solar thermal-powered beer is on tap. And cheese curds are party favorites. People here are ecstatic about the Energy Fair in Wisconsin. More than 10,000 people will walk the festival grounds to learn about everything from solar energy to organic gardening and energy efficiency to sustainable brewing. Depends on your renewables passion.

The exhibitors here are happy to talk shop. And batteries.

Right now, I'm at the Solar Energy International booth as my Carbondale colleague Dan speaks to a nice gentleman about solar technology. I just discussed inverters with Roy from SMA. Sam just sold one of SEI's popular PV manuals. Lucky for us, Dan's mom was nice enough to bring us chocolate chip cookies. Next year, cookies at the booth. People here love a good cookie.

Especially if it's baked in a solar cooker.

We are making plenty of friends, and people are loving our new T-shirt design on hemp and organic cotton. The crowd in Custer, is not only nice, but the people care. They love this fair, and they love Mother Earth. So if you're in the area, check it out. The festival runs through Sunday. Click here for more info.

Happy Energy Fair!


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