Alternative Energies Provide Lifesaving Communication

In September of 2008, Cellcom built an alternative energy cell site located on Door County’s Chambers Island. Cellcom’s green cell site will provide increased cellular coverage and is currently enhancing radio coverage for the Door County fire radio system along the steep west coast of the Door Peninsula.

Currently, the cliffs lining Door County’s rugged shoreline block the signals from mainland towers, leaving many area residents with limited cellular service and radio coverage for emergency personnel. By providing a signal at the same level, the green cell site will allow this area to have improved cellular reception and radio signal in case of an emergency.

“Due to the unique and challenging geography of Door County, the fire departments were faced with what seem to be an insurmountable challenge of providing dependable radio coverage to all areas of the county,” said Chris Hecht, chief of the Sister Bay & Liberty Grove Fire Department. “Fortunately, through a shared use agreement between the fire departments and Cellcom, as well as a lease on property owned by the Town of Gibraltar, a significant portion of previously uncovered areas will now be provided with reliable, potentially lifesaving communications.”

Because Chamber’s Island does not have electricity, alternative energies created and stored on site will power the site. The tower will run on batteries charged by solar panels at the base of the tower and a wind turbine installed on the tower. A propane generator will be installed as a back-up source of power if there is inadequate wind or sun to charge the batteries.

Hecht says the Door County fire radio system is operational with noticeable coverage improvements, and Cellcom’s cell site will be activated in 2009.