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Port of Milwaukee's Wind Turbine

If you drive over the Hoan Bridge, you can't miss it.  

Milwaukee's only wind turbine has been generating renewable energy since February, and it all goes to power the Port of Milwaukee's administration building.  That's according to Matt Howard, director of sustainability for Milwaukee.

In the last seven months alone, the turbine has produced more than 80 percent of that building's annual energy needs, Howard said.

By next February, the city expects the turbine will generate more than 140 percent of the energy the Port Authority building typically requires.  It's an additional revenue stream for the city, and WE Energies provides credits for the excess energy produced.  Howard says it all results in savings to the taxpayer.

With the windy fall weather just beginning, you can keep an eye on its electrical output.   The Department of Sustainability's website shows real-time output data and an overview of the environmental offsets.

"It sends the message that we're embracing our state motto, which is 'Forward,'" Howard said.

The turbine was financed with money from the 2009 federal stimulus package, and Howard says the city did not incur any debt financing for the project.  But with the federal dollars now spent, there are no plans to build additional turbines.