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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wisconsin firms receive renewable energy grants

From a news release issued by Focus on Energy:

MADISON, Wis. (July 8, 2009) - Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, has awarded grants totaling more than $2.6 million to help businesses statewide finance the installation of large renewable energy systems. Funds were awarded on a competitive basis to help eligible businesses become more energy independent.

"The grants awarded offer businesses financial assistance for projects that will make a significant impact on Wisconsin's growing renewable energy market; in fact, these larger renewable energy systems offer businesses a way to lessen their dependence on fossil fuel based energy use, in turn reducing pollution" said Don Wichert, program director for Focus on Energy. "It is my hope more organizations will look to these businesses as shining examples of energy pioneers — and follow their example."

Grant Recipients
Following are the grant recipients in their respective technologies:

Wind
Cashton Greens Wind Farm LLC of Cashton, Wis., was awarded $250,000 to install two wind turbines with a 5,000 kW capacity. The two-turbine wind farm is an innovative partnership between Cooperative Regions of Organic Producer Pools (CROPP), Western Technical College (WTC) and Gundersen Lutheran Health System Inc. It will be the first "community wind" project in the state and its two turbines will be the largest in the state.

Biomass heat
Gundersen Lutheran Envision LLC in La Crosse, Wis., was awarded $376,057 to install a biomass fired steam plant to produce renewable thermal energy for Gundersen Lutheran Hospital's main campus. The system is estimated to provide approximately 95 percent of the campus' thermal needs. The boiler system will be fired with both wood waste and agricultural waste.

Other grant recipients
Orion Electric Systems in Manitowoc, Wis., was awarded $250,000 to install a 273 kilowatt (kW) solar electric system. Orion Energy Systems labels itself as a technology center, designed with the express intention of reaching out to the community and developing an education program to introduce various energy technologies and devices to the public. To this end, its solar electric system will serve as a demonstration and educational tool. In addition, the project will be the largest solar electric system in the state and the first in the state to use an innovative cylindrical solar thin film technology.

PPC Partners Inc. in Plymouth, Wis., was awarded $500,000 to complete a 1,137 kW anaerobic digester energy system. PPC Partners will own the system; however, it will be located at Goeser Dairy LLC, a 1,000 head dairy operation. Goeser Dairy will provide the majority of waste stream to serve as the digester's feedstock and other wastes will also be used. The dairy will benefit from the enhanced waste and odor management system as well as reduced bedding fees.

The City of Sheboygan Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) was awarded $205,920 to install a biogas maximization system. The Sheboygan WWTP has been successfully operating a number of 300 kW microturbine systems for nearly four years. The new biogas maximization system will increase the gas production of the existing anaerobic digester from 30 percent to 60 percent. To capture the energy from the increased amount of biogas, the city will install two additional 200 kW microturbines, bringing the total generation capacity of the WWTP up to 700 kW.

Dairy Dreams LLC of Casco, Wis., a 3,000 head dairy operation, was awarded $434,477 for the installation of an 800 kW anaerobic digester energy system. The system will produce energy, while helping to manage waste and control odor.

Industrial Towel & Uniform (ITU) Inc. of New Berlin, Wis., an industrial laundry service company, was awarded $170,000 to install a 10,000 square foot solar hot water system. This system will reduce ITU's natural gas use by 28,388 therms a year, a significant decrease in its annual natural gas consumption. The system will be the largest solar water heating system in the state when completed.

Clear Horizons LLC in Sun Prairie, Wis., was awarded $500,000 to complete a 1,137 kW anaerobic digester energy system. Clear Horizons will own the system; however, it will be located at Maunesha River Dairy, a 1,000 head dairy operation. The dairy's waste stream will serve as the digester's feed stock and will use additional organic wastes from other sources. The system will produce energy, help manage waste and control odor.

Gundersen Lutheran Envision LLC in La Crosse, Wis., was awarded $376,057 to install a biomass fired steam plant to produce renewable thermal energy for Gundersen Lutheran Hospital's main campus. The system is estimated to provide approximately 95 percent of the campus' thermal needs. The boiler system will be fired with both wood waste and agricultural waste.

Businesses Statewide Are Eligible
In addition to the grants awarded, Focus on Energy offers financial incentives for smaller renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. To learn more about Focus on Energy, available financial incentives, or to get an application, call (800) 762-7077 or visit focusonenergy.com.

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