Puerto Rico Learns about Renewable Energy in Madison

On May 29th Madison Mayor Paul Soglin asked RENEW Wisconsin to join him and his staff to meet with Bernardo Márquez Garcia, Mayor of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, as they discussed some of the renewable energy initiatives that Madison has in place and ways that cities in Puerto Rico might use renewable energy to help reestablish electric service and make it more reliable.

“That is so important because in the remote areas of the island and so many critical areas of the city there is a need when the hurricane strikes, when the power system goes down, to have electric power,” Soglin said.

Bubolz Nature Preserve Unveils Off-Grid Microgrid

On May 31st I was very excited to head to Appleton where Faith Technologies, in partnership with Schneider Electric, unveiled the state-of-the-art, clean energy microgrid they designed and built at the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton.

As one of the keynote speakers at the event, Senator Roger Roth praised the project and the Bubolz Nature Preserve for the great work they do.  Many other local officials were on hand to learn more about the project including Senator Rob Cowles, Representative Mike Rohrkaste and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

As one of the most advanced microgrids in existence, the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve project acts as a testing and demonstration site for increasingly sophisticated microgrid operations, showing how advanced controls and operation optimization combined with state of the art technology can work together to provide clean, reliable power.

The advanced microgrid uses a 200-kW solar photovoltaic array; C-Series Proton On Site Hydrogen Generator; 30-kW hydrogen fuel cell; a 100-kW Tesla lithium-ion battery storage system; a 65-kW micro-turbine; and a 60-kW Kohler natural gas generator.  Together they allow the system to completely disconnect from the utility grid and still operate the 18,000-square-foot nature center building, with power to spare!

Crave Brothers Open House

On June 13th I visited the Crave Brothers Dairy Farm in Waterloo for a very well attended Green Energy Showcase event designed to educate the public and government officials about their unique operation that integrates raising crops, a dairy farm, cheese making operation and a biodigester system.

Attending the event were Wisconsin DATCAP Secretary Sheila Harsdorf, State legislative staff and U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Steve Censky.  While addressing the crowd, Censky praised the Crave Brothers operation, “There are many wonderful innovations happening in agriculture,” he said, “This is just one example of those projects.”

The two 750,000-gallon biodigester tanks located on the farm process manure from 2,600 cows. Other organic byproducts, such as cheese whey and food waste, also go into the biodigester, producing enough methane to generate 633 kilowatts of electricity from the adjacent generator, enough electricity to power the farm, the cheese factory and more than 300 homes in the Waterloo area.

T-Wall Enterprises Leading the Way on Multi-Family Solar

On June 14th RENEW Wisconsin recognized T-Wall Enterprises with a “Renewable Energy Champion” award for their support of renewable energy.  T-Wall worked with SunPeak to install solar arrays on four of its multifamily properties —Veritas Village, Tribeca 1, Tribeca 3 and Wingra Point — for a total of 431 kW of onsite solar generation. As of June 2018, T-Wall Enterprises has put in place more solar capacity than any other developer of multifamily dwellings active in Wisconsin.