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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Marshfield renewable energy plan just 7 percent under goal

From an article by Molly Newman in the Marshfield News-Herald:

A report released Friday [July 2] by Energy Center of Wisconsin showed Marshfield is already set to complete 93 percent of its goal as one of 10 pilot programs in Wisconsin's "25x25" challenge.

The 25x25 plan was proposed in 2009 as a way for the state to attain its goal of generating 25 percent of energy consumption from renewable sources by 2025.

Marty Anderson, chair of the city's Sustainable Marshfield committee, said the group came up with 16 projects to reduce energy consumption. These included solar collection and geothermal energy use in city buildings, conversion of the non-emergency fleet to hybrid vehicles and purchasing 25 percent renewable electricity from Marshfield Utilities.

"We tried to put in (the plan) projects that we thought had a reasonable likelihood of being completed," Anderson said.

About 30 percent of the energy consumption goal will be met by projects that have already been implemented or are included on the city's five-year plan, Anderson said. For example, the new fire station integrated several energy-efficient features.

According to Sean Weitner, author of the Energy Center report, Marshfield also proposed installation of a $12 million, 38 megawatt wind farm, a project that was not included in the 93 percent indicator because it would cost more than five times the current total energy budget.

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