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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Focus on Energy offers new grants for large renewable energy projects

From a news release issued by Focus on Energy:

(March 18, 2009) - In 2008 Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, awarded financial incentives totaling more than $2.5 million to help businesses statewide finance the installation of renewable energy systems. And in 2009, even more businesses will have the opportunity to become energy independent as Focus on Energy is offering special opportunity grants for up to $500,000 to support large renewable energy systems.

These grants, combined with the tax credits and other funding opportunities in the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law Feb. 17, 2009, should help to make significant renewable energy projects a reality for hundreds of Wisconsin businesses.

"We believe there is an emerging demand for renewable energy systems at a larger level," said Don Wichert, renewable energy program director. "As concerns over the effects of fossil fuel based energy use, pollution and America's dependence on energy from overseas increase, it is our hope Wisconsin businesses will take advantage of these grants - and the new federal incentives - to take control over their energy use."

Eligible businesses must submit grant proposals to Focus on Energy by May 27, 2009. Funds will be awarded for the following technologies:

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 solar electric systems larger than 50 kilowatts (kW). The grant will award a maximum of $250,000.

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 solar water heating systems that offset more than 15,000 therms per year. The grant will award a maximum of $250,000.

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 commercially available wind energy systems larger than 100 kW. This grant will award a maximum of $250,000.

Biogas/Landfill Gas/Biomass/Hydro
This grant will provide financial support for the installation of industrial/municipal and farm anaerobic digestion, landfill gas, biomass combustion and hydroelectric projects that generally cost $2 million to $5 million. These systems can help supply space heating, process heating, cooling and electricity. The grant will award a maximum of $500,000.

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