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Solar Para Niños (EWB Madison)

$2,638 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 5 months
Created July 26, 2018
I am embarking on a 2000-km bike trip across the Upper Midwest to increase awareness of solar energy and to raise funds for a distributed solar system at a shelter for abused children in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico (Hogar Albergue para Niños Jesús de Nazaret).  The Hogar is a shelter that takes in, counsels, and houses 14 children that have been removed from their homes by the Department of Family.  The trip, known as #BikeTheSun, will take me to over 50 utility-scale solar energy sites across Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota.  Riding an electric bike prototype with 1000 W h of e-assist, I will be biking 160+ km per day.

The solar project is being designed, managed, and implemented by the UW-Madison Chapter of Engineers without Borders (EWB).  With this distributed solar installation, the Hogar's energy costs will drop significantly – our ultimate goal is to eliminate their typical $1,000 monthly utility bill – allowing the center to invest more of their money into helping the kids through education and social services.  ALL money raised on #BikeTheSun will be transferred to the UW-Madison Chapter of EWB.

https://solarparaninos.com 


https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/bikethesun-support-solarparaninos-james-tinjum/
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Update 4
Posted by James Tinjum
2 months ago
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I am very pleased to report that I will be presenting a check to the UW-Madison Chapter of Engineers without Borders in the amount of $2,588 this upcoming Tuesday, November 13th :) Combined with direct corporate contributions to EWB from WPPI Energy ($2,500) and Westwood Engineering ($2,500), #BikeTheSun raised a total of $7,588 to support #SolarParaNinos!!! Thanks soooo much to each and every follower and contributor. With this transfer of funds to EWB next Tuesday, I will be closing the Solar Para Niños gofundme account. However, if you wish to continue to follow along with the progress of #SolarParaNinos and keep track on how EWB designs, contracts, and installs this rooftop solar system, please note that my blog (SolarParaNinos.com) will remain active. Again, a heartfelt thank you to each and everyone out that contributed and reached out with your kind words and thoughts -- it really means a lot to me and all of the UW students that have signed onto this project. ON WISCONSIN and, one last time, #BikeTheSun in support of #SolarParaNinos!!!
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Update 3
Posted by James Tinjum
5 months ago
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I am in the home stretch of #BikeTheSun in support of #SolarParaNinos. Yesterday, I biked from Hallie (WI) --where I had a great interview with the local newspaper (Chippewa Herald) and one of the television stations (WQOE) -- all the way to Tomah. Depending on how the weather goes today and how my legs and body cooperate, I might make it all the way home to Madison yet today -- just 110 miles left!!!

Thanks so much for each of you that have supported (financially, socially, word-of-mouth...) this distributed solar install in Puerto Rico at the Hogar Alburgue Para Niños Jesus de Nazaret via the UW-Madison Chapter of Engineers without Borders. We are very, very close to securing enough funds via this fund-raising effort and corporate commitments for (1) electrical system code upgrades, (2) energy-efficient appliances, (3) structural assessment of the roof, (4) 35-kW of solar panels, and (5) the associated electrical equipment and controls. In the future, we will look towards the battery backup system and the possibility of net-metering via grid interconnection.

Hope that you have been following along the trip adventures and perspectives via SolarParaNinos.com. ON WISCONSIN and on #SolarParaNinos!
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Update 2
Posted by James Tinjum
5 months ago
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I had a wonderful (but challenging) 124-mile ride for #BikeTheSun in support of #SolarParaNinos on Wednesday. The scenery along the bluffs and highlands of the Mississippi was spectacular, although there were a LOT of hills, thus the challenging day when you are lugging a 90-pound bike up and down those hills, not to mention my own body weight :)

Some of the highlights of the day included ice cream at the Udder Brothers Creamery in Boscobel and a meeting with Tracy Fillback, who is a local representative for the Badger Hollow Solar Farm in Iowa County.

The proposed Badger Hollow Solar Farm would generate approximately 300 MW of electricity (the largest solar farm in Wisconsin by far) at capacity using silicon photovoltaic (PV) modules fixed to single-axis solar trackers. This project could remove 370,000 tons of carbon pollution from being released to the atmosphere annually along with $3 million in annual landowner payments, tax payments, and local spending and salaries. This could be a significant economic boost to the region, especially when considering the uncertainty in agricultural commodity prices in the years ahead due to the trade wars that are front-and-center in our national discourse. I am very anxious to see how this project moves ahead and hope to be able to visit during construction that could begin as early as next spring.

Entered into the "Organic Valley" of Wisconsin and overnighting in Viroqua, which is an incredible small city with options for great organic, farm-to-table restaurants, organic coffee roasters, and several commercial-scale solar installations. I will be interviewed live on the local radio station at 10:00 today (Thursday), which I look forward to.

Counting the money that has been donated directly to Engineers without Borders this week, we are up to close to $2000, which is 20% of my goal for this month. Keep those donations coming and please help to spread the word to your colleagues at home and at the office, every little bit helps!
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Update 1
Posted by James Tinjum
5 months ago
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210 MW of wind energy, 20 MW of thin-film solar, 20 MW of battery frequency regulation -- Oh My!  I was very fortunate to get a 2-h tour of the Invenergy Grand Ridge Site on Monday morning.
What the battery storage allows for is a steady, committed, stepped output to the grid, which is very valuable to the grid operators and which makes the renewable energy production more valuable:
Monday's route was a 99.2-mile trek from Ottawa, Illinois, East to Grand Ridge, then west all the way to Annawan.  Even though I had another 25 miles in my leg, I had to pull over for the evening as I had a Welcome Orientation Conference Webinar for our incoming Power and Controls Capstone Certificate students at 5:00.  Today, Tuesday, I am hoping to get in about 110 miles!  Furthermore, I will be biking along the Great American Mississippi route, so looking forward to that.
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$2,638 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 5 months
Created July 26, 2018
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