EcoTrack 11: Maumee holiday tree from solar lights - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

EcoTrack 11: Maumee holiday tree from solar lights

Report by Tara Hastings - email | bio

Posted by LS

MAUMEE (WTOL) - This 40-foot tree on Conant Street in Maumee is usually dark for the holidays, but this year it will be bright.

"I've wanted to light a tree in Maumee for three years. I love how the lights are lit for the holiday season," says Joe LaChapelle, president of Maumee Uptown Business Association (MUBA).

LaChapelle turned his bright idea into a green one. MUBA bought 2,000 LED bulbs. "Each bulb has three LEDs in it, so we're stranding 80 separate strands with 25 bulbs each around the tree," he tells us.

Each of the LED bulbs are green in color, too. With so many lights, it would still mean a large electric bill, but this tree is using free energy -- the sun.

"We're going to utilize the sun's power through the solar array from First Solar. They're going to charge the batteries all day," says WFI Project Manager Ed King, "As long as it's out, then we're going to convert that power at night."

Solar panels were placed to be in the path of the sun for most of the day soaking up the rays. If it's cloudy all day, alternatives will have to be used like a generator or batteries that are already charged. 

MUBA funded the project and several area companies donated materials and man hours. It's a true community effort just in time to brighten the holiday season.

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