The Spoon River Solar Farm is a 500 kW solar array consisting of 2,052 solar panels on approximately five acres. The array is closed to the public for safety, but can easily be seen from Route 24. The Spoon River Solar Farm Learning Center is located across the road from the array and was created to provide educational opportunities for children, families and adults. This interactive outdoor display enables visitors to interact with solar technology. It is also a showcase for the unique characteristics of rural cooperatives and careers in the energy field.
The project was constructed using a variety of new and recycled materials. The solar display consists of two panels like the ones found across the road. Visitors can interact with the panels to see the affect that blocking the sun has on the power output. There are many other interactive components to the site including an antique tractor, over-sized globe, life-sized pigs, working windmill and antique red-jacket pump and farm-themed dioramas that visitors can light up. There are educational displays throughout which include QR (Quick Reference) codes so that participants can visit websites for additional information.
Tracy and Scott are artists and teachers. Bill's daughter was once a student of Scott Snowman's when he taught art at the local high school. The Snowman's are artists who design all sorts of unique things like signs, murals, drawings and paintings. They set out to make a design for Bill that would get his idea off the ground. Here they are standing in front of the 24' barn they helped build. They painted it to look old and the hay loft isn't real. It is actually a painting. Really fools the eye doesn't it?
CEO of Spoon River Electric Cooperative - Bill Dodds working on the barn at the Spoon River Solar Farm Learning Center. It was Bill that dreamed up the idea of creating a fun place for people to come and learn more about solar energy.
Educational Resources for Children
Free Educational Resources
Online Educational Resources
Home Educators Resource
The drawing you see above is the original sketch that got things rolling. Bill, Tracy and Scott took this drawing to Springfield, IL to meet with three men at Prairie Power, INC. They loved the design too and from there lots of great people began to get involved in order to make a SMALL IDEA turn into a BIG PROJECT.
Learning how to preserve our planet for tomorrow
Near Astoria, IL
Located three miles Northeast of Summum, IL on Route 24 near Astoria. The learning center is across the road from the Spoon River Solar Farm at 11099 E. Line Hwy, Astoria, IL 61501
Self-Guided OPEN from DAWN to DUSK DAILY - No Reservations Required