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Solar wall unveiled at Milwaukee Public Museum

From the outside, it looks like rows and rows of reflective, dark glass.  But look a little closer at the exterior of the Milwaukee Public Museum, and you'll notice something more innovative.

234 solar panels, to be exact.

Since it was unveiled last month, the new solar wall is already generating enough electricity to maintain the tropical environment inside the museum's popular butterfly vivarium.

The panels tower six stories above the museum's W. Wells street entrance, replacing the 50-year-old white marble facade.

"This is the largest wall array of solar panels in the country," said Ellen Censky, senior vice president of the Milwaukee Public Museum.

The wall will generate 77,500 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.  That's enough to light up roughly 500 60-watt light bulbs, eight hours a day, for a year.

The majority of the funding for the project came from Milwaukee County, and County Executive Chris Abele made a personal donation in the amount of $172,000.  Hear more about the funding by clicking the Soundcloud player below:



Curious to see it in action?  You can monitor the solar wall's output in real time by viewing the dashboard on the museum’s website.  Just  follow this link to see how much energy it is generating right now.


Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee