Wind/solar installer named Market Provider of the Year
MADISON, Wis. (June 30) - Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy Program honored John Hippensteel, of Sturgeon Bay, Wis. based Lake Michigan Wind & Sun Ltd., with the 2008 Market Provider of the Year Award. The award was presented at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's (MREA) 19th annual Energy Fair on June 22, 2008 in Custer, Wis.
The Market Provider of the Year Award was conceived as a way to recognize renewable energy contractors who exemplify the goals and expectations of the Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Program. The award provides the opportunity to honor one such contractor each year for their commitment and dedication to excellent customer service and quality renewable energy systems installation. Contractors who receive this award are exceptional in their passion, intelligence and dedication when it comes to providing renewable energy services.
"For more than a decade John has been installing solar electric, solar hot water and wind electric systems for satisfied customers," said Don Wichert, renewable energy director for Focus on Energy. "Wisconsin truly benefits from having well qualified businesses like Lake Michigan Wind & Sun Ltd. grow our renewable energy markets."
Hippensteel has consistently had a strong presence at many events throughout the state and is always willing to share information, photos and his innovative models. His professionalism and workmanship keep existing customers coming back for more projects, and his creativity continues to attract new customers. Hippensteel is the only North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Certified Solar Electric and Solar Thermal Installer in Wisconsin. He has installed more than 50 solar and wind power systems with support from Focus on Energy.
After dropping out of college, working as a pipefitter in the shipyards, then returning for his engineering degree, John Hippensteel traveled from the Midwest to Africa and back before he purchased Lake Michigan Wind and Sun (LMWS) from founder Mick Sagrillo in 1997.
Hippensteel still travels afar, teaching wind resource assessment and turbine maintenance in China and South Korea, for instance. Shortly following this interview, he headed to Denmark to continue research on wind projects there.
When he’s at LMWS in Sturgeon Bay, he splits his time along the lines of the company’s business commitments –- 25 percent in solar thermal; 25 percent in photovoltaics; 20 percent in commercial wind site assessment, monitoring, and tower installations for data loggers; and 30 percent in small wind/larger wind maintenance and service.
LMWS (www.windandsun.com) employs two full-time people, including Hippensteel, and several part-timers, depending on the projects on hand.