Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve unveils clean-energy microgrid system

Aerial view of Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve (WBAY file photo)
Aerial view of Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve (WBAY file photo)(WBAY)
Published: May. 31, 2018 at 3:52 PM CDT
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The Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve in Grand Chute is living up to its name. The 700 acre facility is now running completely on clean energy. Its microgrid system is the first of its kind in the state.

Just five minutes from downtown Appleton sits the Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve. Its hundreds of acres of space are used for both recreation and education.

In an effort to follow the Bubolz mission of educating through the safe use of the environment, its state-of-art clean energy microgrid was unveiled.

"It's a way to generate energy, so what you're seeing happening behind us with the solar panels is, we're using solar energy which is the most sustainable source of energy we know of. We're taking that energy and we're powering this entire facility," says Aamir Paul from Schneider Electric.

Designed by Faith Technologies of Menasha and managed by Schneider Electric's energy control center, this microgrid isn't just a solar panel system. Its backup battery and software system are what make it different and more effective.

According to Mike Jansen, CEO of Faith Technologies, "It is high technology. We have five different energy sources coming into the microgrid, and we have the technology that Schneider provides for us really analyze that and do the smartest thing for the environment and for the facility overall."

The system not only enables Bubolz to eliminate its energy bill, but it preserves the environment as well.

"We are going to take conservation and technology and build a sustainable, wonderful, long lasting piece of nature, and we do it without hooking to the grid. It literally runs on its own without polluting the air or the water," adds John Bergstrom, chairman of the Bubolz board.

The leading edge technology is being described as an model of what the world could be, and should be, in the future by using clean energy.