Decorah Electric

Grid Interactive Case Study


On a rural Iowa hilltop, overlooking 68 acres of green farmland, stand several towers ranging from 50 to 165 feet tall. The towers, and the radio antennae they support, are owned by Glenn and Vivien Johnson and are used for their amateur radio communications, popularly known as “ham radio.” It’s a hobby that Glenn is particularly passionate about. Combined, the ham radio and the homestead equate to an average annual electricity usage of 18,000kWh for the Johnsons.

Although connected to a stable grid, the Johnsons sought the peace-of-mind from reliable backup power for critical loads in the event of an extended outage, especially during the harsh Iowa winters. An award-winning ham radio operator, Glenn was especially concerned about outages interrupting his radio competitions, which can stretch to 48 hours. Although there was a portable generator, the Johnsons found it insufficient to meet their electricity needs.

  • Location
  • System Power
  • Components