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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Focus on Energy seeks large renewable projects to fund

From a media release issued by Focus on Energy:

Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, is helping businesses statewide become more energy independent by offering large, one time only grants to help finance the installation of innovative renewable energy systems. Eligible businesses must submit grant proposals to Focus on Energy by Oct. 29, 2008. Funds will be awarded on a competitive basis and are meant to support one project in each of the following technologies:

Industrial or Municipal Anaerobic Digesters
Many industries and wastewater treatment facilities are looking for a solution to both organic waste management and a source of on-site energy production. Anaerobic treatment of industrial or municipal wastewater can offset waste treatment costs by collecting and using biogas for energy applications. This grant will fund the installation of a commercially available anaerobic digester system in the $2 to $4 million range. The grant will reward up to 25 percent of the installed project cost, or a maximum of $500,000.

Biomass Combustion
Biomass Combustion can serve as on-site energy production for many industries and commercial facilities. The technology offsets energy costs by burning biomass for energy applications. Biomass combustion systems can help supply space heating, process heating, cooling and electricity. This grant will fund the installation of a commercially available biomass combustion system in the $2 to $4 million range. The grant will reward up to 25 percent of the installed project cost, or a maximum of $500,000.

Solar Water Heating
The sun's energy can be used to heat water for commercial and industrial applications. Businesses interested in implementing solar water heating can use this grant for the installation of one large, commercially-available solar water heating system or a group of systems owned by the same entity and installed simultaneously. This grant will fund the installation of a solar hot water system that offsets more than 10,000 therms per year. The grant will reward up to 25 percent of the installed project cost for tax-paying entities and up to 35 percent for nonprofits, or a maximum of $100,000.

Solar Electric
Solar energy can be converted directly to electricity with photovoltaic (PV) cells. As light strikes the PV cell, it creates an electrical potential that generates a current of electricity. To implement solar electricity, businesses can use this grant for the installation of a large solar electric system or groups of systems that are innovative and very visible. This grant will fund the installation of a PV system that produces more than 50 kilowatts (kW) per year. The grant will reward up to 25 percent of the installed project cost for tax-paying entities and up to 35 percent for nonprofits, or a maximum of $100,000.

Wind Energy
The energy present in wind can be converted into electricity with a wind turbine. Wind passing over the turbine creates a rotary motion that turns an electric generator and creates electricity. This grant will provide financial support for the installation of one commercially available wind energy system that demonstrates a new type of turbine, has a special type of application and/or provides very high visibility and educational value. To be eligible the project must produce 20 kW to 100 kW per year. This grant will reward up to 35 percent of the installed project cost, or a maximum of $100,000.

"These grants offer a one time opportunity for businesses and non-profits to apply for projects that are twice as large as those normally accepted by Focus on Energy. We believe there is an emerging demand for renewable energy systems at this larger level, offering businesses a way to mitigate the effects of fossil-fuel-based energy use, reduce pollution and lessen America's dependence on energy from overseas," said Don Wichert, program director for Focus on Energy's Renewable Energy Program.

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