Mequon Nature Preserve

8200 W. County Line Road
Mequon, Wis.
Operational date
Wind: November 2007, struck by lightning; back on line April 2010
Solar: November 2009
10-kilowatt wind turbine and 9.8-kW ground-mounted solar array
Total project cost
Wind: $72,000
Solar: $109,403
Wind: $19,852. Solar: $39,133 from We Energies
Wind: $32,490. Solar: $24,364 from Focus on Energy
Estimated savings achieved
$3,200 per year in electricity savings
In keeping with its values of reducing environmental impact, the Mequon Nature Preserve installed both a 10-kilowatt wind turbine and a 9.8-kW solar electric (photovoltaic) system with financial assistance through the We Energies non-profit grant program.
The preserve adopted a master plan that included goals and guiding principles for sustainability. "Having a wind turbine and a solar electric system fits in with our effort to feature sustainable design to educate the community," said Mayor Christine Nuernberg, who was a champion of the green project. "Thus, it was a simple decision to include renewable energy installations."
The wind turbine generates about 17,000 kilowatt-hours annually, offsetting energy costs by about $1,900. The solar electric system provides about 12,000 kWh for a savings of about $1,300 per year.
The preserve offers a comprehensive educational program that welcomes K-12 students from throughout southeast Wisconsin to supplement their classroom environmental education. University undergraduate and graduate students conduct field work at the Mequon Nature Preserve, and adult education programs, including lecture series and workshops, are offered by environmental education organizations from across the region.
The preserve also serves as a neighborhood center where a variety of organizations from around the area use the building for meetings and activities.