Danada Solar-Energy and Lighting Improvements


The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is preparing plans for a solar-energy and lighting improvements project at Danada Forest Preserve and Equestrian Center in Wheaton.

A small horse barn at the equestrian center will be outfitted with a 20-kilowatt solar array atop its roof; the array will convert solar energy into electricity to offset energy consumption at the center. The array will be tied into the electric grid and hooked up to a smart meter supplied by ComEd. Electricity which is generated in excess will be transferred back to ComEd, thus eliminating or reducing the center’s energy costs.

An interactive education kiosk, which is located between Danada’s parking lot and the small horse barn, will be retrofitted with four digital LED panels with touch-screen capabilities. The kiosk will provide learning opportunities about solar energy and its benefits, other sustainable developments recently completed at the preserve, the center’s equestrian programs and visitor information about the preserve and the District.

The preserve’s main parking lot will be equipped with 16 high-efficiency LED lights installed on 17-foot-high light poles. The dark-sky-compliant fixtures will provide greater visibility and safety for visitors who attend nighttime events at the Danada House and replace the lot’s existing lights, which are over 25 years old.


The District estimates the solar-energy and lighting improvements will cost $600,000, which will be funded in part by a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy.


Construction will begin over late summer of 2011 and is anticipated to be complete by early winter of 2012.

Image © FPDDC

An ariel overview highlights the location of new solar-energy equipment at Danada Equestrian Center.

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