MILWAUKEE - Summerfest in Milwaukee kicks off Wednesday. And they're taking the opportunity to go green.
The sounds and sights of Summerfest-- as you can imagine, it takes a lot of energy to power 11 stages.
"It's about reducing operating costs and most importantly, changing our carbon footprint," said Ward Komorowski, Johnson Controls.
So near the mid-gate, you'll find the new Johnson Controls "World Sound Stage" which used to be the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Stage.
Besides new signage, the structure will look the same, only it uses a fraction of the energy it once consumed.
"We've created a kiosk that has the ability to produce wind and solar power," said Komorowski.
At the entrance of the stage, you'll find the kiosk, equipped with solar panels and a windmill, which will produce power to be used for the stage itself.
"All of that of that energy is stored into batteries and then we take that battery power and invert it back into AC," said Komorowski.
Ward Komorowski is the director of facilities for Johnson Controls. He says it fits the battery company's commitment to sustainability.
Its story and a layout of how much energy is captured and saved is displayed on two LED screens at the bottom of the kiosk.
"We anticipate about 7 million, 700,000 watt hours of energy saved, so that's equivalent to about 21,000 hours of a guitar amplifier," said Komorowski.
Other improvements include LED lights and energy efficient air conditioning units.
An eco-friendly start to one stage, with the hope for the same concept to spread to others.
"It's about being able to reduce energy, reduce the carbon footprint, and save Summerfest money," said Komorowski.
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