Milwaukee Central Library


814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Operational date

February 2010


30-kilowatt solar electric roof-mounted array

Total project cost



$100,000 We Energies
$60,147 Focus on Energy

Estimated savings achieved

$4,000 annually


The Milwaukee Public Library worked with the City of Milwaukee's Office of Environmental Sustainability, We Energies, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and Focus on Energy to create a green roof on 30,000 square feet of the Central Library annex. The goal was to create an environmentally friendly, energy efficient structure. We Energies helped fund the solar electric panels on the roof, which generates about 36,000 kilowatt hours per year.

This project replaces 30,000 square feet of traditional non-porous roof with a vegetative system that reduces polluted stormwater runoff, urban heat islands and improves air quality. Over the long-term, the project reduces costs for water treatment systems and infrastructure.

The project includes an observation deck used by the library for tours of the roof.