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Public invited to solar tour open house in Menahga

Anyone interested in solar power is invited to stop by the newly remodeled West Central Telephone/CNS office building in Menahga on Saturday, Oct. 1, for the 3rd Annual Zenergy Solar Tour Open House event. The event, which is part of the Minnesota Solar tour running throughout the state that day, has attracted over a hundred "solar tourists" from as far away as Minneapolis and Moorhead in its first two years.

The Zenergy Open House will run between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon, when the Zenergy team will be serving refreshments and Minnesota-made Caribou coffee, freshly brewed using power from the Zenergy Solar Trailer. There will also be games, door prizes, merchandise on sale, and guided tours by Zenergy Master Electrician Clint Kyllonen during this time. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the "green space" picnic area for those needing to check their emails or access the internet.

In addition to the Solar Trailer, which provided electricity to the command center's communications equipment after the Wadena tornado last year, visitors can also get an up-close look at many other solar solutions, including a solar air furnace used to offset the winter heating bill, a solar water heating system, and three different configurations of solar electricity being tested side-by-side. New this year will also be a demonstration of a remote solar water pumping kit.

The WCTA office is located on the corner of U.S. Highway 71 and Minnesota Highway 87 in Menahga, next to the VFW. Refreshments will only be served during the Open House from 10:00 - 12:00 when the public is encouraged to attend, but the official statewide tour runs from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., so those who can't make the open house can stop by and a staff member will be available to answer questions.

The tour is part of the American Solar Energy Society's (ASES) National Solar Tour, said to be the largest solar event in the world. Now in its 16th year, the event offers people the opportunity to visit any one of thousands of solar powered homes and businesses across the nation in a free, self-guided tour.