Dedicated to environmental ethics, the Fox Cities Environmental Learning Center at Bubolz Nature Preserve advanced its mission significantly in 2018 when it became home to one of the world’s most sophisticated microgrids. The advanced microgrid operates as a learning lab for the 100,000-plus visitors expected at the Appleton, Wisc., preserve each year. But that’s just the start.
The sophisticated energy array, provided and supported by Faith Technologies and Schneider Electric, also offers an opportunity for important research and development. It demonstrates and tests the latest in microgrid operations and will pass the knowledge on to the growing clean energy industry and its customers.
In 1981 — well before today’s sustainability revolution — Bubolz was experimenting with solar, wind and geothermal to energize what was then an earth center at the site. More recently, the nonprofit preserve built a new 18,000 square foot, highly efficient lodge which the microgrid will energize by way of solar photovoltaics, energy storage, a fuel cell, microturbine and a natural gas generator.
This white paper explores how this advanced microgrid serves as a learning lab at Bubolz Nature Preserve, including its design, goals, economic benefits and more.