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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wind turbines proposed at Organic Valley distribution center

An article by Steve Cahalan in the La Crosse Tribune:

Organic Valley is talking to Western Technical College and Gundersen Lutheran about erecting two wind turbines in 2009 at its Cashton distribution center, an official said Wednesday.

Jennifer Harrison, sustainability program manager for the organic farmers’ cooperative, spoke at a press conference in La Crosse on the Homegrown Renewable Energy Campaign. It was launched by Wisconsin Farmers Union, Clean Wisconsin, the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and RENEW Wisconsin.

The campaign promotes four of the initiatives recommended this year by Gov. Jim Doyle’s Global Warming Task Force:

+ Create a Biomass Energy Crop Reserve Program to pay land owners to plant bioenergy crops such as switchgrass that can be used for fuel;
+ Create a Renewable Fuels for Schools and Communities Program to help fund sources for biomass heating systems in schools and government buildings;
+ Develop a program to set utility payment rates to fairly compensate small renewable energy producers;
+ Set a low carbon fuel standard.

Harrison said BEST Energies Inc., which has a biodiesel plant in Cashton, and the village also may become partners in the wind turbine project. It would be a way for partners to support alternative energy and create educational opportunities for Western students, she said.

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