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Sunday, February 28, 2010

‘Green Grocer’ takes on new meaning for Twin Lakes store

From an article in the Kenosha News:

TWIN LAKES — Installing energy-efficient lighting and controls is expected to save a Twin Lakes grocery store more than $28,700 a year eventually.

New equipment — mechanisms on freezers, cash registers and scales, and almost 650 lights — set up the past four months at Richter’s Twin Lakes Sentry, 600 N. Lake St., should cut utility costs enough to pay for the changes in less than five years.

The alterations are part of a “Green Grocer” program offered by the Wisconsin Grocers Association. The store will receive its Green Grocer certificate at 10 a.m. today during a store tour by representatives of various involved organizations. The public is invited.


Brett Hulsey, from Better Environmental Solutions, a Madison firm administering the program, said the western Kenosha County store is one of 10 certified in the state. The stores were in the service area of Wisconsin Power and Light, one of the program’s supporters.

The program now will expand outside that area, including Racine, Hulsey said. Kenosha grocers could take part by contacting the Wisconsin Grocers Association.

The program offers a low-interest loan to grocers to purchase the energy-efficient merchandise, costing up to $100,000 on average, Hulsey said. Savings will be used to pay off the loan. After that, it will translate to a reduced cost of business, he said. BES estimated the $28,700 savings at the Sentry store.

Plan would transform Monroe County landfill waste to energy

From an article in the Tomah Journal:

Solid Waste Manager Gail Frie offered a plan to generate energy and extend the life of Monroe County’s Ridgeville landfill at Monday’s meeting of the Solid Waste Management Committee. The committee approved $14,000 to begin the initial planning for the gas to energy project.

Frie, who was Vernon County’s solid waste manager for 18 years, said he had put a lot of study into the project. He said, “Every citizen of Monroe County should have a direct benefit from this project.”

The solid waste manager told the committee that he had “...done a lot of thinking...” on the plan so that the county had no cost. He did not want to tie up county bonding for a landfill project. He added that his focus was on saving money and extending the life of the landfill.

The gas to energy project is a $6 million proposal funded with United States Department of Agriculture grants and loans and funds from partners including Alliant Energy, Focus on Energy and Gundersen-Lutheran. Food waste would be the principal source of energy. The county would save over $500,000 in landfill operation costs. Gundersen-Lutheran would buy the electricity generated by the plan.

Friday, February 26, 2010

We Energies' wind park offers significant benefits to the state

From the written decision of the Public Service Commission on We Energies' Glacier Hills Wind Park:

WEPCO’s [We Energies’] wind-powered electric generating facility is a renewable resource that offers significant benefits to the state of Wisconsin. The air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions it avoids, the lack of solid waste, and the fact that it consumes virtually no water are important environmental benefits. This project will support the state’s goal of increasing its reliance upon renewable resources and will help diversify Wisconsin’s pool of electric generating facilities. It fits well with existing land uses, will help preserve the agricultural nature of the project area, will impose no reliability, safety, or engineering problems upon the electric system, and will create no undue adverse impacts on environmental values. After weighing all the elements of WEPCO’s project, including the conditions imposed by this Final Decision, the Commission finds that issuing a CPCN will promote the public health and welfare and is in the public interest. The Commission also finds that, while members of the public are concerned about possible health effects associated with the project, there is not sufficient evidence in the record to conclude that the project would cause adverse health effects. (Page 45 of the Order, Docket 6630-CE-302.)

Wisconsin wind map shows potential around St. Croix


From the announcement of a new map of winds published by the U.S. Department of Energy:



The Department of Energy's Wind Program and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) published a new wind resource map for the state of Wisconsin. The new wind resource map shows the predicted mean annual wind speeds at 80-m height. Presented at a spatial resolution of 2.5 km (interpolated to a finer scale for display). Areas with annual average wind speeds around 6.5 m/s and greater at 80-m height are generally considered to have suitable wind resource for wind development.

Additionally, a national dataset was produced of estimated gross capacity factor (not adjusted for losses) at a spatial resolution of 200 m and heights of 80 m and 100 m. Using AWS Truewind's gross capacity factor data, NREL estimated the windy land area and wind energy potential in various capacity factor ranges for each state. The table (Excel 75 KW) lists the estimates of windy land area with a gross capacity of 30% and greater at 80-m height and the wind energy potential from development of the "available" windy land area after exclusions.

Though difficult to see on the small image above, an area around in St. Coix County stands out for wind speeds higher than much of the rest of Wisconsin.

Communication will help rally support for Domtar biomas project

From an editorial in the Wausau Daily Herald:

Outside a recent open house WE Energies held to discuss its proposed biomass power plant in Rothschild, a group of residents distributed information outlining their concerns and objections to the plant.

It's good for people to be engaged in a local matter that affects them, and we applaud residents for voicing their concerns. But in our judgment, the benefits that the biomass plant would bring our area far outweigh the costs.

The $250 million power plant would be a boon to the area, full of upsides. It would provide an economic boost, both in the 400 construction jobs required to build it and in the 150 permanent jobs that would staff the plant. It would boost the state and municipal tax base. And the technology it would employ is clean, renewable and low-emission, helping Wisconsin reach its goal of using 10 percent renewable energy by 2015.

The biomass plant, which would power the Domtar paper mill and provide electricity to the grid, would be fueled by burning wood waste -- low-quality wood, unusable bark and such. That's a good deal cleaner than burning coal and fossil fuels, and it's a renewable resource.

This project needs to happen. WE Energies is waiting on state approval to begin construction, but says it hopes to have the plant up and running by fall of 2013.

Initiative to demonstrate praire power in southwest Wisconsin

From a news release issued by Alliant Energy:

Grasslands Will Be Preserved and Restored to Benefit Farmers and Provide Renewable Energy

MADISON, Wis. — A new initiative announced today will demonstrate how diverse native prairies in southwest Wisconsin have the potential to provide income to farmers, better habitat for wildlife and homegrown and renewable energy to businesses.

The Alliant Energy Foundation is providing $100,000 per year over the next three years to The Nature Conservancy to establish demonstration projects that harvest biomass from native and restored prairies in the Military Ridge Prairie Heritage Area in southwest Wisconsin.

“This is the first project of its kind in the region and one that will explore how we can create new economic opportunities for area farmers,” said Barbara Swan, Alliant Energy Foundation President. “It’s a great way to preserve some of our best grasslands for future generations.”

Mary Jean Huston, director of The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, said new strategies are needed to protect the state’s grasslands, which are at risk even though they provide excellent wildlife habitat and help preserve water quality.

Military Ridge is one of the state’s best opportunities for grassland conservation because it includes more than 60 native prairie remnants and pasture land within a 50,000-acre grassland landscape located in Dane and Iowa counties.

“The best way to keep Military Ridge’s lands and waters in good natural condition is to demonstrate good conservation practices,” Huston said. “This generous gift from the Alliant Energy Foundation will help us protect this incredible landscape for nature and people alike.”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

River Falls utility offers low-interest loans for renewables & energy efficiency

From a program description on the Website of River Falls Municipal Utilities:

In an effort to demonstrate our commitment to a strong local conservation ethic while demonstrating the effectiveness of energy efficiency, conservation and renewable resource development, we are now offering you a uniquely innovative renewable energy financing program called “Save Some Green”. This program is designed to financially assist you with the cost of purchasing and installing qualified renewable energy systems and efficiency improvements on your property. To accomplish this goal, a loan pool has been established to offer low cost financing to residential customers, with annual installment payments collected through annual property tax bills. . . .

QUALIFIED IMPROVEMENTS
· Solar Photovoltaic panel systems.
· Solar hot water.
· Solar thermal heating.
· Geothermal heating & cooling systems.
· Wind Turbines.
· Major energy efficiency projects in connection with a renewable energy project. . . .

TERMS AND CONDITIONS
· Payment of principal and interest shall be added to the annual property tax
statement and the original loan agreement be recorded as security
interest against the property.
· Payments include a 4% interest rate.
· Project funding can range from $2,500 to $50,000 based on the cost and energy
savings potential of the energy efficiency improvements.
· Renewable Energy Finance Program Loan Funding will be equal to the project costs,
less any incentives or other outside funding. The total combined funding will
not exceed the project cost.
· Loan terms will range from 5 to 20 years.
· In the event the property is sold or transferred, the remaining balance shall
be immediately due and payable on the date of sale, unless the Lender agrees to
extend the original agreement terms and conditions to the new purchaser.

Southwest Wisconsin plans for energy independence

From a news release issued by Clean Wisconsin:

Largest collaboration in state to commit to 25% renewable energy production by 2025

VIROQUA, WI – Over the next year, two counties and eight local communities in Southwest Wisconsin’s Driftless Region will become the largest collaboration in state history to plan their energy independence.

Vernon and Crawford counties, along with the communities of Fennimore, Prairie du Chien, Viroqua, Ferryville, Gays Mills, La Farge, Soldiers Grove and Viola, plus Viroqua-based energy planners and consultants E3 Coalition, just won a $65,000 grant from the state’s Office of Energy Independence. The final plan will outline how the group can get 25 percent of their electricity, heating and transportation fuels from renewable resources by 2025, or a 25x25 plan. In addition to the state grant, the communities raised $46,400 in monetary and in-kind support.

"The Driftless Region has a long tradition of self-sufficiency and sustainability, and those are the goals of our planning efforts," said Todd Osman of E3 Coalition. "At the same time, it’s difficult for small communities to tackle energy issues on their own. We’re very pleased to be working together with two counties, three cities and five villages."

In the late 1970s, Soldiers Grove responded to repeated flooding by recreating itself as the nation’s first solar village. Today, Gays Mills is integrating sustainability measures into its reconstruction process, following recent floods. La Farge is home to Organic Valley, the largest member-owned organic food cooperative in the country and a leader in biomass and biodiesel initiatives.

The first step in the planning process is documenting local governments’ current energy and fuel use. Then, the communities will identify potential energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy projects. Throughout the planning process, E3 will work with local communities to hold educational workshops and events for government staff and members of the public.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doyle says renewable energy standard key to bill

An Associated Press story posted on WKBT-TV (La Crosse):

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Jim Doyle says he's open to approving a scaled-back clean energy bill as long as a key provision setting new renewable energy standards remains in tact.

Doyle says the crux of the sweeping measure being debated in the Legislature would require 25 percent of Wisconsin's energy to come from renewable sources by 2025. He says that provision is what's critical to creating new jobs in fields like solar and wind energy.

Doyle told reporters he is open to changes on other details that he didn't specify and that he expects "significant changes" as it moves through both houses.

The bill would lift Wisconsin's ban on new nuclear power plants and tighten auto emission standards, among many other things.

Renewable Energy Options: Applications for Commercial-scale Development

From a workshop announcement released by the Energy Center of Wisconsin:

April 21, 2010 | Green Bay, WI
April 22, 2010 | Rothschild, WI

This program provides a solid background in renewable energy technologies for commercial-scale applications. Get an overview of renewable energy, from an exploration of the benefits, to a view of technologies that work well in Wisconsin's northern climate. Learn how renewable energy technologies fit into the LEED™ design process and the software tools used for assessing renewable energy potential. Find out about design considerations, potential system performance, and the economics of installing a system in today's solar market.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mega 'green diesel' project moves forward

From an article by Wayne Nelson in BusinessNorth:

The proposed $250 million addition at Flambeau River Papers in Park Falls that would expand the mill into commercial manufacturing of “green diesel” and other renewable woody biomass products has cleared more hurdles on the way to a potential construction later this year.

On Jan. 19, Flambeau River Biofuels, an affiliate of the paper mill, said it has signed letters of intent with two more major project vendors. William “Butch” Johnson, majority owner of the paper mill and biofuels companies, said it has selected AMEC, a British engineering firm, to design the project, and Miron Construction based in Neenah, WI, as primary contractor.

In October, Flambeau River Biofuels selected Honeywell, Inc. to supply and integrate automation equipment and building controls for what would be the largest second-generation U.S. green diesel plant. In addition to producing transportation fuels and chemicals from woody biomass, the steam and electricity also produced in the process would make the paper mill the first in the nation to be fossil fuel-independent.

The biorefinery would be designed to process 1,000 dry tons per day of bark, sawdust and other residue with little market demand into 19 million gallons of green diesel and wax fuels per year. The project would add about 40 fulltime employees to the 300 already working in the mill. The additional demand for woody biomass would create an estimated 125 logging-related jobs for the regional wood products industry.

Mega 'green diesel' project moves forward

From an article by Wayne Nelson in BusinessNorth:

The proposed $250 million addition at Flambeau River Papers in Park Falls that would expand the mill into commercial manufacturing of “green diesel” and other renewable woody biomass products has cleared more hurdles on the way to a potential construction later this year.

On Jan. 19, Flambeau River Biofuels, an affiliate of the paper mill, said it has signed letters of intent with two more major project vendors. William “Butch” Johnson, majority owner of the paper mill and biofuels companies, said it has selected AMEC, a British engineering firm, to design the project, and Miron Construction based in Neenah, WI, as primary contractor.

In October, Flambeau River Biofuels selected Honeywell, Inc. to supply and integrate automation equipment and building controls for what would be the largest second-generation U.S. green diesel plant. In addition to producing transportation fuels and chemicals from woody biomass, the steam and electricity also produced in the process would make the paper mill the first in the nation to be fossil fuel-independent.

The biorefinery would be designed to process 1,000 dry tons per day of bark, sawdust and other residue with little market demand into 19 million gallons of green diesel and wax fuels per year. The project would add about 40 fulltime employees to the 300 already working in the mill. The additional demand for woody biomass would create an estimated 125 logging-related jobs for the regional wood products industry.

Council committee approves solar power revolving loans

Anews release issued by Alderman Tony Zielinski:

The Community and Economic Development committee unanimously approved an ordinance today that allows the City of Milwaukee to create the state’s first property assessed solar power revolving loan program to make solar power a more attractive option for homeowners.

Alderman Tony Zielinski, primary sponsor of the ordinance says promoting solar power is critical for environmental reasons as well as job creation. “Encouraging solar power options creates job opportunities for solar panel installers and also helps to increase a need for manufacturing the panels and the jobs related to that process,” Ald. Zielinski said.

“Historically, one of the barriers to installing solar power in homes has been the upfront costs. This loan program reduces that impediment and for as little as a few hundred dollars, a homeowner can create energy efficiency in their home and begin saving money immediately,” Ald. Zielinski said.

Homeowners who take advantage of the loan program have 15 years to repay the installation costs; money they can easily earn in energy savings, Ald. Zielinski notes.

Co-sponsor of the ordinance, Alderman Nik Kovac said “Creating this energy efficiency improvement fund is one way the City of Milwaukee can help its residents increase the efficiency of their own home while simultaneously creating a specific job market within the city.”

“Homeowners are looking for green solutions,” Ald. Terry Witkowski, co-sponsor, said, “and the City of Milwaukee can only stand to benefit by exploring alternatives like the solar power loan program.”

The ordinance will appear before the full Council on Tuesday, March 2 for approval. Residents who would like to learn more about the property assessed solar loan program or access the program manual should contact Andrea Luecke, project manager of the Milwaukee Shines program, at aluecke@milwaukee.gov. For more information about how the City of Milwaukee supports solar energy, click on www.MilwaukeeShines.com.

Creating Regenerative Community - a free public talk, Mar. 9

An announcement Regenerative Culture:

In this time of economic recession, climate change, resource depletion and social isolation, it is clear our current systems aren’t working. Our world is changing and our leaders aren’t leading.

Ariane Burgess, founder of Regenerative Culture, will offer an interactive presentation that outlines the new community leadership training course she may offer here if there's enough interest.

She will overview our current crises and highlight the course's approach to helping us re-skill and lead our communities toward a resilient and regenerative future.

The holistic and in-depth approach Ms. Burgess will present focuses on 5 key dimensions of community design:
Economic, Ecological, Social, Worldview and Leadership. These five elements are woven to create a springboard to help us move from talk and theory into action. She will describe how the course will help us prepare, communicate and implement action plans to develop our community's resilience.

The free talks will be held:
• Tues, March 9 at 7:00 p.m. - Western Technical College, 220 South Main Street, Viroqua

Monday, February 22, 2010

Clearing up Wisconsin’s lakes with clean digester energy

From a commentary by Michael Vickerman, RENEW's executive director:

In the next six weeks the Legislature will make a truly momentous decision on the state’s energy future. Either it can embrace an ambitious 15-year commitment to invigorate the state’s economy through sustained investments in clean energy or decide to coast along on current energy policies until they lapse and lose their force and effect.

Arguably the most innovative feature in the Clean Energy Jobs Act, as it’s now called, is a proposed requirement on larger electric providers to acquire locally produced renewable electricity with Advanced Renewable Tariffs (ARTs). These are technology-specific buyback rates that provide a fixed purchase price for the electricity produced over a period of 10 to 20 years, set at levels sufficient to recover installation costs along with a modest profit. Now available in more than a dozen nations in Europe as well as the Province of Ontario, ARTs have proven to be singularly effective in stimulating considerable growth in small-scale production of distributed renewable electricity. . . .

Consider the much-vaunted Dane County Cow Power Project, which should be operational before the end of the year. Using anaerobic digestion technology, this Waunakee-area installation will treat manure from three nearby dairy farms and produce biogas that will fuel a two-megawatt generator. This community digester project, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, will be built with private capital and a State of Wisconsin award to support a technology that reduces the flow of phosphorus into the Yahara Lakes. A second digester project is also planned for Dane County.

The key element that makes the financing of this project work is the special biogas buyback rate that Alliant Energy, the local utility, voluntarily put in place a year ago. With the higher rate, the project’s return on investment was sufficient to interest outside investors. . . .

If we are serious about neutralizing the algae blooms that turn the Yahara lakes green each year, we’ll need to adopt a clean energy policy, including ARTs, that facilitates the development of biodigesters in farm country.

Perfect "solar storm" cuts installation costs for solar hot water

From the newsletter of Energy Concepts, Hudson, WI:

Wisconsin residents have their own "perfect storm" solar incentive brewing: the combined credits from Focus on Energy, the Federal tax credit and the State Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP) can reduce the cost of a solar hot water system by over 50%.

Let's tote them up:
• Focus on Energy will support qualifying solar thermal systems up to $20 a therm, to a maximum of $2,750 per system.
• SEEARP, which is actually a Federal program initiated under the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment act, will reimburse the same system up to $2,000.
• The Federal 30% tax credit can be applied to the balance of the installation cost.
A sample cost worksheet might look like this:

Installation cost: $11,000
Focus Rebate: $2,250
SEEARP: $2,000
Federal Credit: $2,025
Total Credits: $6,275

Final Cost: $4,725
Price reduction on system: 57%

This does not include possible MACRS depreciation recapture should the system be installed in a business--that could shave another 10%--15% from net system cost.

How much energy savings accrue annually is dependant on how much hot water is consumed and what the price of gas or electricity is in your area.

But, solar hot water is known to produce the shortest payback period in the renewable energy industry. It would not be wild speculation, given energy inflation, to say that the above system would pay back in under 10 years.

With State PV incentives of just $1.25 a watt, Wisconsin residents might feel jealous of Minnesota's new PV incentives. But the best response would be not to get mad, but to get even. And right now, that means installing solar hot water sytems in the Badger State, understanding that renewable energy's quickest payback period just got a lot quicker.

Sustainable Community Living Seminar, Feb. 24, Kenosha

From an announcement made by Gateway Technical College:

Harnessing Renewable Energy Opportunities

DATE: February 24, 2010
TIME: Morning Seminar - 1 :OOp.m. - 3:00p.m.
Evening Seminar - 7:00p.m. - 9:00p.m.
HOST & LOCATION: Gateway Technical College, Horizon Center, 4940 88th Avenue, Kenosha, WI 53144

YOU ARE INVITED: to attend an interactive presentation on methods, execution and sustainable economical outcomes for communities. Robert Laporte, Molecular Biologist and CEO of Neutopia ecoSolutions, Inc., will present the seminar. Mr. Laporte will show several examples of how communities have benefitted from sustainable implementation, such as decreasing municipal waste issues, creating new revenue streams and more.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Sheila Axl, EleclriChargeMobility:
262-789-8409
eleclricharge@me.com

Of Molehills and Renewable Energy Purchases

Commentary
by Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin
February 22, 2010

As the Legislature mulls over the pending comprehensive energy bill known as the Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 450/AB 649), both supporters and opponents have been keeping their artillery banks busy, peppering the airwaves and cyberspace with press releases, position papers, radio advertisements and economic impact studies. It’s a veritable war of words out there.

In pursuit of the larger objective of undermining public support for that bill, several opponents of the energy bill are attempting to manufacture a controversy out of the State of Wisconsin’s purchasing of renewable electricity, an outgrowth of the state’s current energy policy law (2005 Act 141). That law directed the State of Wisconsin to source 10% of its electrical usage from renewable resources by 2007 and 20% by 2011. In the initiative’s first year, the purchase of renewable energy added $1.4 million, or 1.7%, to the state’s overall electric bill.

The critics, led by Rep. Brett Davis (R-Oregon), contend that the state’s purchase is a budget-straining extravagance that taxpayers cannot afford at this time. In a letter sent to the Department of Administration, Davis insinuated that one of the energy purchase contracts amounts to a sweetheart deal for the utility provider, WPPI Energy, because it charged higher premiums than the other two utilities. Davis has asked the Legislative Audit Bureau to review the WPPI contract. WPPI, it should be noted, is a nonprofit wholesale energy provider serving more than 40 municipal electric utilities in Wisconsin.

Before we plunge into the politics behind this puffed-up molehill, a brief primer little on energy pricing is in order. First and foremost, the renewable energy in question is acquired by the state under long-term contracts that set forth a fixed price. Whether we’re talking about windpower, solar or biogas, the price of that resource remains steady over time. It does not yo-yo up and down the way certain fossil fuel prices do.

By contrast, an unregulated energy commodity like natural gas is especially susceptible to price volatility. Even though natural gas is primarily used as a heating fuel in Wisconsin, its price behavior strongly influences wholesale electricity costs at the margin.

Back when the State of Wisconsin signed its contracts with its renewable energy providers, natural gas prices were significantly elevated. After July 2008, they plummeted, which took the air out of wholesale electric markets. As a result, the cost differential between conventional energy and renewable energy widened going into 2009. But the renewable resources didn’t become more expensive; their costs stayed the same as it was two years ago.

The energy provided by WPPI Energy comes from the Forward Wind Energy Center located in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties. Keep in mind that the Forward project is a local energy source; no state dollars leave the state to procure the electricity. This 129-turbine installation pumps more than $1 million a year into the local economy in the form of land rental payments, local government revenues and maintenance crew salaries. Not a single dollar from the State of Wisconsin stays with WPPI Energy.

The State’s arrangement with WPPI Energy is nothing more than a standard hedge contract. This type of arrangement is common between suppliers of propane or fuel oil and their customers. Those businesses routinely offer their customers an opportunity to lock in a certain fuel price in advance of the heating season. Sometimes it works out for the customer, sometimes it doesn’t. But many customers and suppliers elect to enter into hedged contracts, because both parties can lock in their fuel expenses for the winter regardless of how the energy markets behave.

Yet, if wholesale electricity prices are slumping, then so is the cost of heating buildings with natural gas. According to a recent post by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Tom Content, residential and business customers are spending 15% to 30% less on heating bills this winter. The primary cause of the reduction in heating bills is the ongoing slump in the price of natural gas.

Content goes on to say that while electric rates rose at the beginning of this year, the savings on the heating side are neutralizing the impact on customer pocketbooks. If you and I and every other utility customer are seeing significant reductions in our heating bills, then it stands to reason that the State of Wisconsin is too. Put another way, the very dynamic that lifted renewable energy premiums last year also lowered energy bills statewide this winter.

Most people expect fossil fuel prices will rise again, and history will not disappoint them. Rep. Davis knows this too, which is why he and every other Republican legislator except one lone dissenter voted in favor of the state renewable energy purchasing initiative four years ago. But the Republicans were in the majority back in 2006, and thus took credit—deservedly so--for their leadership in passing Act 141.

In a further irony, the source of Davis’s ire was a pet policy of a fellow Republican legislator, former representative Scott Jensen. As a member of Gov. Doyle’s Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewables, Jensen championed the idea of the state acting as a “model customer,” whose leadership by example serves to educate other customers on the virtues of renewable energy.

But the real reason why Rep. Davis and others have sought to make a federal case out of this molehill is to blow up the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill before it can pass a Legislature that is, this time around, controlled by Democrats. Unlike their rivals four years ago, Republicans don’t see any electoral advantage to working with the majority party on this bill, even though it is clearly the most important economic development initiative that the Legislature will entertain this session.

During most of my 19 years as a renewable energy advocate, there has been an implicit recognition that both parties should share in the risks and rewards associated with something as fundamentally important as state energy policy. But times have certainly changed. Bipartisanship is completely MIA in this debate, as evidenced by the unnecessary and unconvincing posturing over the state’s renewable energy purchase. To echo the great Irish poet W.B. Yeats, the center is not holding.

Michael Vickerman is the executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a sustainable energy advocacy organization headquartered in Madison. For more information on the Clean Energy Jobs Act bill (SB450/AB649), visit RENEW’s web site at: www.renewwisconsin.org.

We Energies open house draws a crowd to discuss biomass plant

From an article by Megan Loiselle in the Wausau Daily Herald:

ROTHSCHILD -- A power plant that has its sights set on this village of 5,390 people has some residents singing its praises and others crying, "Not in my backyard."

WE Energies plans to build a $250 million power plant that burns low-quality and unusable wood and paper waste, powering the Domtar paper mill and providing electricity to homes in portions of Wisconsin. The plant still needs state approval before construction can begin, but WE Energies is hopeful it will be up and running by fall 2013.

About 300 people streamed in and out of a conference room during a WE Energies-sponsored open house Saturday at the Holiday Inn & Suites seeking answers about how the plant would affect their quality of life -- and how many new jobs it would bring to the area.

According to WE Energies, the biomass plant would not only create new jobs, it would bring in shared revenue from the state depending on how much energy is created. The project would create 400 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs. It also will help Wisconsin reach its goal of having 10 percent of all energy produced using renewable resources by 2015 -- a goal established in Gov. Jim Doyle's Clean Energy Wisconsin Plan.

The plant would cut dependence on fossil fuels, reduce acid rain and be nearly carbon-neutral, according to the environmental advocacy group Clean Wisconsin and the U.S. Forest Service.

John Klosinski, 55, of Rothschild said he supports the biomass plant because it will create jobs for people who have been hit hard by the economy.

"I think it's great," Klosinski said. "I've been working half time for over a year ... I'm not concerned about the emissions or the noise."

About 10 residents stood outside the conference room and passed out information with a list of their concerns about the smell, sound and emissions the biomass plant would bring with it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Clean Energy Jobs Act would boost economy and employment

From a news release issued by the Center for Climate Strategies:

Implementation of the recently introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) would expand the state’s economy and create thousands of additional new jobs for Wisconsin. These impacts are reported in a recent Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) analysis of the macroeconomic effects of the proposed law, conducted by Michigan State University and the University of Southern California in association with the State of Wisconsin. The analysis focuses on nine proposed policy actions that address clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency, industrial processes, transportation and agriculture.

Based on a state-of-the-art macroeconomic analysis, implementation of these CEJA actions would result in the following outcomes for Wisconsin:
 Create a net increase of more than 16,200 new jobs in the state by 2025;
 Boost the state’s economy (Gross State Product) by
o $254 million in the near term (2015),
o more than $700 million in 2020,
o $1.41 billion by 2025, and
o $4.9 billion total over the 2011-2025 period.

Reactions to the study: Governor Doyle and CREWE.

Clean Energy Jobs Act would boost economy and employment

From a news release issued by the Center for Climate Strategies:

Implementation of the recently introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) would expand the state’s economy and create thousands of additional new jobs for Wisconsin. These impacts are reported in a recent Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) analysis of the macroeconomic effects of the proposed law, conducted by Michigan State University and the University of Southern California in association with the State of Wisconsin. The analysis focuses on nine proposed policy actions that address clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency, industrial processes, transportation and agriculture.

Based on a state-of-the-art macroeconomic analysis, implementation of these CEJA actions would result in the following outcomes for Wisconsin:
 Create a net increase of more than 16,200 new jobs in the state by 2025;
 Boost the state’s economy (Gross State Product) by
o $254 million in the near term (2015),
o more than $700 million in 2020,
o $1.41 billion by 2025, and
o $4.9 billion total over the 2011-2025 period.

Reactions to the study: Governor Doyle and CREWE.

Clean Energy Jobs Act would boost economy and employment

From a news release issued by the Center for Climate Strategies:

Implementation of the recently introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA) would expand the state’s economy and create thousands of additional new jobs for Wisconsin. These impacts are reported in a recent Center for Climate Strategies (CCS) analysis of the macroeconomic effects of the proposed law, conducted by Michigan State University and the University of Southern California in association with the State of Wisconsin. The analysis focuses on nine proposed policy actions that address clean and renewable energy, energy efficiency, industrial processes, transportation and agriculture.

Based on a state-of-the-art macroeconomic analysis, implementation of these CEJA actions would result in the following outcomes for Wisconsin:
 Create a net increase of more than 16,200 new jobs in the state by 2025;
 Boost the state’s economy (Gross State Product) by
o $254 million in the near term (2015),
o more than $700 million in 2020,
o $1.41 billion by 2025, and
o $4.9 billion total over the 2011-2025 period.

Reactions to the study: Governor Doyle and CREWE.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Study projects minimal impact from renewable buyback rates

From a letter to State Rep. Spencer Black and State Sen. Mark Miller from RENEW Wisconsin:

RENEW is pleased to provide the enclosed copy of the narrative and appendix of tables from an economic analysis that we commissioned.

The analysis concludes that special buyback rates (sometimes called Advanced Renewable Tariffs) designed to stimulate small-scale renewable energy installations would have negligible impact on residential utility bills, averaging about $10 a year. That’s less a dollar a month for the typical customer. And it’s less than a household’s cost of purchasing the smallest block of green power from Madison Gas and Electric, for instance.

Compared with other forms of economic stimulus, promoting small-scale renewables through utility buyback rates would deliver a substantial and long-lasting economic punch with minimal impact on the Wisconsin citizen’s pocketbook.

Prepared by Spring Green-based L&S Technical Associates, the study modeled rate impacts from the legislation’s provisions for ARTs on the state’s five largest utilities. The modeling predicts cost impacts ranging from a low of $8.12 a year for a residential customer of Wisconsin Public Service to as high as $11.07 for a Wisconsin Power and Light (Alliant) customer. The projected impact would amount to $8.81 a year for a We Energies customer, $9.71 for a Madison Gas and Electric customer, and $10.11 for an Xcel Energy customer.

The projections assume that when each utility reaches its maximum threshold of 1.5 percent of total retail sales. In the aggregate, this percentage equates to 1/70th of total annual sales. That’s one billion kilowatt-hours a year, out of total annual sales of 70 billion kilowatt-hour.

Though the principals of L&S Technical Associates serve on RENEW’s board of directors, they have prepared numerous renewable energy studies for other clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. L&S has also co-authored renewable energy potential studies in response to requests from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

The bill’s renewable energy buyback provisions would unleash a steady flow of investment that would lead to new economic activity and jobs while moving us toward energy independence – exactly what we all hope to accomplish by passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation.

Study projects minimal impact from renewable buyback rates

From a letter to State Rep. Spencer Black and State Sen. Mark Miller from RENEW Wisconsin:

RENEW is pleased to provide the enclosed copy of the narrative and appendix of tables from an economic analysis that we commissioned.

The analysis concludes that special buyback rates (sometimes called Advanced Renewable Tariffs) designed to stimulate small-scale renewable energy installations would have negligible impact on residential utility bills, averaging about $10 a year. That’s less a dollar a month for the typical customer. And it’s less than a household’s cost of purchasing the smallest block of green power from Madison Gas and Electric, for instance.

Compared with other forms of economic stimulus, promoting small-scale renewables through utility buyback rates would deliver a substantial and long-lasting economic punch with minimal impact on the Wisconsin citizen’s pocketbook.

Prepared by Spring Green-based L&S Technical Associates, the study modeled rate impacts from the legislation’s provisions for ARTs on the state’s five largest utilities. The modeling predicts cost impacts ranging from a low of $8.12 a year for a residential customer of Wisconsin Public Service to as high as $11.07 for a Wisconsin Power and Light (Alliant) customer. The projected impact would amount to $8.81 a year for a We Energies customer, $9.71 for a Madison Gas and Electric customer, and $10.11 for an Xcel Energy customer.

The projections assume that when each utility reaches its maximum threshold of 1.5 percent of total retail sales. In the aggregate, this percentage equates to 1/70th of total annual sales. That’s one billion kilowatt-hours a year, out of total annual sales of 70 billion kilowatt-hour.

Though the principals of L&S Technical Associates serve on RENEW’s board of directors, they have prepared numerous renewable energy studies for other clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. L&S has also co-authored renewable energy potential studies in response to requests from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

The bill’s renewable energy buyback provisions would unleash a steady flow of investment that would lead to new economic activity and jobs while moving us toward energy independence – exactly what we all hope to accomplish by passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation.

Study projects minimal impact from renewable buyback rates

From a letter to State Rep. Spencer Black and State Sen. Mark Miller from RENEW Wisconsin:

RENEW is pleased to provide the enclosed copy of the narrative and appendix of tables from an economic analysis that we commissioned.

The analysis concludes that special buyback rates (sometimes called Advanced Renewable Tariffs) designed to stimulate small-scale renewable energy installations would have negligible impact on residential utility bills, averaging about $10 a year. That’s less a dollar a month for the typical customer. And it’s less than a household’s cost of purchasing the smallest block of green power from Madison Gas and Electric, for instance.

Compared with other forms of economic stimulus, promoting small-scale renewables through utility buyback rates would deliver a substantial and long-lasting economic punch with minimal impact on the Wisconsin citizen’s pocketbook.

Prepared by Spring Green-based L&S Technical Associates, the study modeled rate impacts from the legislation’s provisions for ARTs on the state’s five largest utilities. The modeling predicts cost impacts ranging from a low of $8.12 a year for a residential customer of Wisconsin Public Service to as high as $11.07 for a Wisconsin Power and Light (Alliant) customer. The projected impact would amount to $8.81 a year for a We Energies customer, $9.71 for a Madison Gas and Electric customer, and $10.11 for an Xcel Energy customer.

The projections assume that when each utility reaches its maximum threshold of 1.5 percent of total retail sales. In the aggregate, this percentage equates to 1/70th of total annual sales. That’s one billion kilowatt-hours a year, out of total annual sales of 70 billion kilowatt-hour.

Though the principals of L&S Technical Associates serve on RENEW’s board of directors, they have prepared numerous renewable energy studies for other clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. L&S has also co-authored renewable energy potential studies in response to requests from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

The bill’s renewable energy buyback provisions would unleash a steady flow of investment that would lead to new economic activity and jobs while moving us toward energy independence – exactly what we all hope to accomplish by passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation.

Rothschild waits for biomass answers from We Energies


From an article by Sean Ryan in The Daily Reporter:

People in Rothschild have a lot of questions about how We Energies’ proposed $250 million biomass plant project will affect their neighborhood.

The community has not heard much about the project since representatives from the state and We Energies visited Rothschild in September to announce plans to build a 50-megawatt biomass plant next to Domtar Corp.’s paper mill, said Village President Neil Torney, who said the plant’s burner would be built 1,400 feet from his house.

“There’s a few concerned citizens who live near the plant who would, naturally, have a bunch of questions,” he said. Torney said his list of questions is seven pages.

We Energies is sending people to knock on doors within a mile of the project to share information and gather comments, said spokesman Brian Manthey. On Saturday, the utility will hold its first project open house in Rothschild, he said.

We Energies planners, Manthey said, want to hear concerns before applying for Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approval in March or April so the designs can be changed to alleviate problems.

The project will supply jobs to the community and other economic benefits, Manthey said.

“Those are all good things, and those are real good community benefits,” he said. “And we want to make sure that we are out there as well to address any issues.”

Artist's sketch courtesy of We Energies

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Study projects minimal impact from renewable buyback rates

From a letter to State Rep. Spencer Black and State Sen. Mark Miller:

RENEW is pleased to provide the enclosed copy of the narrative and appendix of tables from an economic analysis that we commissioned.

The analysis concludes that special buyback rates (sometimes called Advanced Renewable Tariffs) designed to stimulate small-scale renewable energy installations would have negligible impact on residential utility bills, averaging about $10 a year. That’s less a dollar a month for the typical customer. And it’s less than a household’s cost of purchasing the smallest block of green power from Madison Gas and Electric, for instance.

Compared with other forms of economic stimulus, promoting small-scale renewables through utility buyback rates would deliver a substantial and long-lasting economic punch with minimal impact on the Wisconsin citizen’s pocketbook.

Prepared by Spring Green-based L&S Technical Associates, the study modeled rate impacts from the legislation’s provisions for ARTs on the state’s five largest utilities. The modeling predicts cost impacts ranging from a low of $8.12 a year for a residential customer of Wisconsin Public Service to as high as $11.07 for a Wisconsin Power and Light (Alliant) customer. The projected impact would amount to $8.81 a year for a We Energies customer, $9.71 for a Madison Gas and Electric customer, and $10.11 for an Xcel Energy customer.

The projections assume that when each utility reaches its maximum threshold of 1.5 percent of total retail sales. In the aggregate, this percentage equates to 1/70th of total annual sales. That’s one billion kilowatt-hours a year, out of total annual sales of 70 billion kilowatt-hour.

Though the principals of L&S Technical Associates serve on RENEW’s board of directors, they have prepared numerous renewable energy studies for other clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. L&S has also co-authored renewable energy potential studies in response to requests from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

The bill’s renewable energy buyback provisions would unleash a steady flow of investment that would lead to new economic activity and jobs while moving us toward energy independence – exactly what we all hope to accomplish by passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation.

University composting all food waste from dining halls

From a news release issued by UW-Stout:

The University of Wisconsin-Stout, in partnership with Veolia Environmental Services in Eau Claire, is composting all food waste from its two dining halls.

Since Jan. 25, kitchen food waste not served to customers as well as post-consumer food waste in Price Commons and Jeter-Tainter-Callahan dining facilities has been picked up twice a week and transported to Veolia’s composting site at Seven Mile Creek Landfill, east of Eau Claire. Also included is kitchen food waste from the Memorial Student Center.

At the landfill, food waste is dumped and layered with yard waste in long piles, or windrows, and turned periodically so that air and moisture can circulate. As the piles heat up, food and yard waste break down and become nutrient-rich soil.

Veolia will provide UW-Stout with a record of food waste collected. The amount is expected to reach 2 to 2½ tons a week.

“This is just the first step in the university’s composting efforts,” said Ann Thies, director of University Dining. “We have plans for more of the post-consumer food waste to be included in the future. Other post-consumer items are carry-out items and customer waste in our retail dining areas.”

Last fall, the university switched most carry-out containers to compostable packaging and began working on a plan to compost food waste.

Team effort brings green jobs to Wisconsin

From a blog post on BizTimes.com by Steve Jagler, executive editor of BizTimes Milwaukee:

. . . BizTimes Milwaukee broke the story that Milwaukee was one of three finalists to be the North American headquarters of a Spanish alternative energy company.

As we now know, that company turned out to be Ingeteam, a Spanish wind turbine company that confirmed Tuesday it will construct a $15 million, 100,000-square-foot facility in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley. The complex will span about 8.1 acres at 3757 W. Milwaukee Road.
Ingeteam, headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, will employ about 275 workers in Milwaukee by 2015.

Milwaukee was chosen to be the site of the new plant after a coordinated recruitment effort that included officials from the Milwaukee 7 economic development team, We Energies, Marcoux and Wisconsin Commerce Secretary Richard “Dick” Leinenkugel, who went to Spain to seal the deal.

“The Menomonee Valley was once Wisconsin’s largest brownfield,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “Now, the valley is home to businesses that employ thousands of people.”

The deal was made possible by $1.6 million in tax credits through the federal stimulus program, up to $4.5 million in state tax credits and another $500,000 forgivable loan from the state.

"After carefully analyzing our company's needs, we selected Milwaukee for our new production facility because the city is conveniently located for distribution of our products and has a solid industrial base from which Ingeteam can source materials," said Ander Gandiaga, Ingeteam's corporate director for international development.

“Milwaukee also has a labor pool experienced in electrical manufacturing. In addition, the area boasts prestigious universities with some of the highest-ranked engineering departments in the country that offer specific courses in renewable energy, which will be very useful when it comes to finding specialized staff," said Aitor Sotes, chief executive officer of Ingeteam Inc., Ingeteam's subsidiary in the United States.

Gandiaga also said the Wisconsin team "made an impressive effort to sell Ingeteam on the virtues of locating in this community. The Ingeteam project perfectly fits the model of the clean energy economy and job creation goals that the city and state are pursuing.”

Ingeteam considered more than 80 sites before selecting Milwaukee as the North American home for its company.

“They could have located this $15 million facility anywhere in the nation. Believe me, Michigan tried very hard,” Leinenkugel said. . . .

The doomsday naysayers who perpetually beat the drum that Wisconsin is a horrible place to do business again had to take a holiday Tuesday. I love when that happens.

Anaerobic digester could turn manure into methane at UWP

From an article by in the Wisconsin Ag Connection:

As the University of Wisconsin-Platteville continues to explore renewable and sustainable energy sources on campus, one opportunity has more to do with the local bovine community than anything else. Tim Zauche, UWP professor and chair of the chemistry and engineering physics department, along with Chris Baxter, UWP assistant professor of agronomy, are leading a project team exploring the possibility of having an anaerobic digester on campus and another in the Platteville community.

An anaerobic digester uses bacteria to break down organic waste to produce methane, much like a cow's stomach. One by-product of the bacteria digesting this waste is methane, also known as natural gas, which is used to heat homes and generate electricity.

"We need to mix the waste because, like our bodies, the bacteria can't survive on sugar alone. We need to provide them with a balanced diet, so to speak," said Zauche. "By using the same bacteria that produces gas in a cow's stomach, we can turn waste into energy that can provide electricity or heat for homes. The material from four cows can provide the electricity for one home for a year and one digester could provide seven percent of UWP's annual power consumption."

Once used, the waste from the digester will be filtered into liquid and solid forms of fertilizer ready for direct field application and other forms of fertilizer use.

Letter to Sen. Miller & Rep. Black on rate impacts of ARTs

February 12, 2010

Senator Mark Miller
State Capitol, Room 317 East
Madison, WI 53707

Representative Spencer Black
State Capitol, Room 210 North
Madison, WI 53708

Dear Senator Miller and Representative Black:

RENEW Wisconsin and our members appreciate the opportunities you created for public input into the Legislature’s deliberations on the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation. Certainly, the more we can ground public discussion in fact, the better the final outcome.

To that end, RENEW is pleased to provide the enclosed copy of the narrative and appendix of tables from an economic analysis that we commissioned.

The analysis concludes that special buyback rates (sometimes called Advanced Renewable Tariffs) designed to stimulate small-scale renewable energy installations would have negligible impact on residential utility bills, averaging about $10 a year. That’s less a dollar a month for the typical customer. And it’s less than a household’s cost of purchasing the smallest block of green power from Madison Gas and Electric, for instance.

Compared with other forms of economic stimulus, promoting small-scale renewables through utility buyback rates would deliver a substantial and long-lasting economic punch with minimal impact on the Wisconsin citizen’s pocketbook.

Prepared by Spring Green-based L&S Technical Associates, the study modeled rate impacts from the legislation’s provisions for ARTs on the state’s five largest utilities. The modeling predicts cost impacts ranging from a low of $8.12 a year for a residential customer of Wisconsin Public Service to as high as $11.07 for a Wisconsin Power and Light (Alliant) customer. The projected impact would amount to $8.81 a year for a We Energies customer, $9.71 for a Madison Gas and Electric customer, and $10.11 for an Xcel Energy customer.

The projections assume that when each utility reaches its maximum threshold of 1.5 percent of total retail sales. In the aggregate, this percentage equates to 1/70th of total annual sales. That’s one billion kilowatt-hours a year, out of total annual sales of 70 billion kilowatt-hour.

Though the principals of L&S Technical Associates serve on RENEW’s board of directors, they have prepared numerous renewable energy studies for other clients, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Center of Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. L&S has also co-authored renewable energy potential studies in response to requests from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.

The bill’s renewable energy buyback provisions would unleash a steady flow of investment that would lead to new economic activity and jobs while moving us toward energy independence – exactly what we all hope to accomplish by passage of the Clean Energy Jobs Act legislation.

Sincerely,

Michael Vickerman
Executive Director

Clearing up Wisconsin’s lakes with clean energy

A Commentary
by Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin
February 15, 2010

In the next six weeks the Legislature will make a truly momentous decision on the state’s energy future. Either it can embrace an ambitious 15-year commitment to invigorate the state’s economy through sustained investments in clean energy or decide to coast along on current energy policies until they lapse and lose their force and effect.

Arguably the most innovative feature in the Clean Energy Jobs Act, as it’s now called, is a proposed requirement on larger electric providers to acquire locally produced renewable electricity with Advanced Renewable Tariffs (ARTs). These are technology-specific buyback rates that provide a fixed purchase price for the electricity produced over a period of 10 to 20 years, set at levels sufficient to recover installation costs along with a modest profit. Now available in more than a dozen nations in Europe as well as the Province of Ontario, ARTs have proven to be singularly effective in stimulating considerable growth in small-scale production of distributed renewable electricity.

From what we’ve observed, Focus on Energy and federal incentives (the current mix of financial support) are not sufficient to drive significant installation activity when utility buyback rates are pegged to the cost of operating 40-year-old coal plants. It’s unrealistic to assume that a brand-new farm-sized renewable energy system, regardless of the resource used, can compete head-to-head with central station power plants that have been fully amortized.

However, when existing incentives and tax credits are supplemented with an additional source of financial support, such as higher buyback rates, installation activity picks up noticeably.

Consider the much-vaunted Dane County Cow Power Project, which should be operational before the end of the year. Using anaerobic digestion technology, this Waunakee-area installation will treat manure from three nearby dairy farms and produce biogas that will fuel a two-megawatt generator. This community digester project, the first of its kind in Wisconsin, will be built with private capital and a State of Wisconsin award to support a technology that reduces the flow of phosphorus into the Yahara Lakes. A second digester project is also planned for Dane County.

The key element that makes the financing of this project work is the special biogas buyback rate that Alliant Energy, the local utility, voluntarily put in place a year ago. With the higher rate, the project’s return on investment was sufficient to interest outside investors.
Unfortunately, once this initiative reached its predetermined capacity limit, Alliant discontinued the special biogas rate. This complicates matters for future digester installations, in that the other utilities that serve Dane County, including Madison Gas & Electric, do not offer special buyback rates to customers who generate electricity from biogas.

While voluntary initiatives are laudable, they are too small and sporadic in nature to make much of a dent in converting Wisconsin’s organic wastes into energy. Indeed, unless a policy is adopted statewide that requires utilities to increase their purchases of locally generated renewable electricity, there is no guarantee that Dane County will see a second digester project built.

If we are serious about neutralizing the algae blooms that turn the Yahara lakes green each year, we’ll need to adopt a clean energy policy, including ARTs, that facilitates the development of biodigesters in farm country.

Please communicate your support for this bill by writing letters to your state legislators and to your local newspaper. But time is of the essence -- we have only a few more weeks left in this legislative session.

Michael Vickerman is the executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a sustainable energy advocacy organization headquartered in Madison.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

State seeks info from biomass suppliers for UW-Madison heating plant

From a news release issued by the UW-Madison:

Wide-ranging efforts to nurture a Wisconsin biomass market supplying fuel to the soon-to-be-renovated Charter Street Heating Plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are under way, as officials begin identifying potential suppliers for the cutting-edge facility.

State and UW-Madison officials are asking interested Wisconsin farmers, businesses and landowners to respond to a simple "request for information" that will help pinpoint likely suppliers of the 250,000 tons of biomass that the plant will consume each year.

"We want to build reliable partnerships, help foster an emerging industry and meet the environmental goals of powering a cleaner, coal-free facility," says Troy Runge, director of the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, a UW-Madison-based coalition that helps Wisconsin create, commercialize and promote bioenergy solutions.

Runge, who chairs a multiagency panel charged with creating a biomass market to serve the plant, says the request was designed to be simple to encourage broad participation. It will be followed in coming months by a request for more detailed information and proposals from potential biomass fuel suppliers and aggregators.

"We want to cast the broadest possible net to eventually develop a network of suppliers who are capable of providing long-term, sustainable and environmentally responsible fuel supplies," says Runge.

The request seeks information on the type of fuel being offered, location, pricing, capacity, storage and transportation. It can be found at http://www.wbi.wisc.edu/charter-street-biomass-heating-plant.

State seeks info from biomass suppliers for UW-Madison heating plant

From a news release issued by the UW-Madison:

Wide-ranging efforts to nurture a Wisconsin biomass market supplying fuel to the soon-to-be-renovated Charter Street Heating Plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are under way, as officials begin identifying potential suppliers for the cutting-edge facility.

State and UW-Madison officials are asking interested Wisconsin farmers, businesses and landowners to respond to a simple "request for information" that will help pinpoint likely suppliers of the 250,000 tons of biomass that the plant will consume each year.

"We want to build reliable partnerships, help foster an emerging industry and meet the environmental goals of powering a cleaner, coal-free facility," says Troy Runge, director of the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, a UW-Madison-based coalition that helps Wisconsin create, commercialize and promote bioenergy solutions.

Runge, who chairs a multiagency panel charged with creating a biomass market to serve the plant, says the request was designed to be simple to encourage broad participation. It will be followed in coming months by a request for more detailed information and proposals from potential biomass fuel suppliers and aggregators.

"We want to cast the broadest possible net to eventually develop a network of suppliers who are capable of providing long-term, sustainable and environmentally responsible fuel supplies," says Runge.

The request seeks information on the type of fuel being offered, location, pricing, capacity, storage and transportation. It can be found at http://www.wbi.wisc.edu/charter-street-biomass-heating-plant.

State seeks info from biomass suppliers for UW-Madison heating plant

From a news release issued by the UW-Madison:

Wide-ranging efforts to nurture a Wisconsin biomass market supplying fuel to the soon-to-be-renovated Charter Street Heating Plant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are under way, as officials begin identifying potential suppliers for the cutting-edge facility.

State and UW-Madison officials are asking interested Wisconsin farmers, businesses and landowners to respond to a simple "request for information" that will help pinpoint likely suppliers of the 250,000 tons of biomass that the plant will consume each year.

"We want to build reliable partnerships, help foster an emerging industry and meet the environmental goals of powering a cleaner, coal-free facility," says Troy Runge, director of the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, a UW-Madison-based coalition that helps Wisconsin create, commercialize and promote bioenergy solutions.

Runge, who chairs a multiagency panel charged with creating a biomass market to serve the plant, says the request was designed to be simple to encourage broad participation. It will be followed in coming months by a request for more detailed information and proposals from potential biomass fuel suppliers and aggregators.

"We want to cast the broadest possible net to eventually develop a network of suppliers who are capable of providing long-term, sustainable and environmentally responsible fuel supplies," says Runge.

The request seeks information on the type of fuel being offered, location, pricing, capacity, storage and transportation. It can be found at http://www.wbi.wisc.edu/charter-street-biomass-heating-plant.

Wind energy firm picks Milwaukee for plant

From an article by Larry Sandler in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Politicians and business leaders were quick to celebrate - and claim credit for - Monday's announcement that a Spanish company will bring hundreds of new jobs to Milwaukee.

Wisconsin's current governor, two candidates to succeed him, and not one but two regional economic development alliances all lined up to score points from a new Menomonee Valley plant for Ingeteam, a Spanish manufacturer of wind-turbine generators.

About 270 manufacturing jobs will be created by the plant, said Greater Milwaukee Committee President Julia Taylor. Building the plant will bring construction jobs as well, said Patrick Curley, chief of staff to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

It will be Ingeteam's first North American factory, said Gale Klappa, co-chairman of the Milwaukee 7 economic development coalition.

Ingeteam chose the valley because of its proximity to workers, I-94 and Spanish-speaking neighborhoods, as well as Milwaukee's "great reputation for manufacturing," said Barrett, also a Milwaukee 7 co-chairman.

The plant will be built near the western end of the valley, Barrett said. The exact site will be announced Tuesday, Curley said.

Barrett called on Klappa, the chief executive officer of We Energies, to make the announcement during the mayor's "state of the city" address at the downtown headquarters of Manpower. He also introduced five Ingeteam executives, who he said had just flown in from Spain for the announcement.

In January, President Barack Obama's administration announced that Ingeteam had been awarded $1.66 million in clean-tech manufacturing tax credits to make wind turbine generators as well as power converter and control systems in Milwaukee. Further indications surfaced last week that the company had picked Milwaukee.

Ingeteam is a privately held, diversified manufacturer based in Zamudio, Spain, a suburb of Bilbao, the city visited last fall by state Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel, City Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux and Milwaukee 7 representatives. Outside Spain, the company has operations in seven countries, including an office in Mequon.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Clean Energy Jobs bill would lower property taxes

From a news release issued by 1000 Friends
of Wisconsin:


Local property taxes would go down according to testimony given on Wednesday [February 10] by 100 Friends of Wisconsin.

“The demand-side provisions of the the transporation policies included in the Clean Energy Jobs legislation would drive down the costs of building and maintaining the transportation infrastructure," according to
Steve Hiniker, Executive Director of 100 Friends of Wisconsin.

Hiniker provided testimony at Wedneday's Senate Select Committee on Clean Energy hearing on the Clean Energy Jobs Act. The hearing focused on transportation and agricultural policies contained in the bill. 1000 Friends testimony focused on demand-side transportation policies that reduce the demand for driving a single occupant vehicle.

“The bill calls for simple strategies to significantly reduce teh costs of transportation facilities as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. By focusing on infill development, enhancing transit options and eliminating subsidies for parking, communities canc tgive a hboost to the environment, make their communities better places to live and reduce taxes," Hiniker noted.

The following strategies were highlighted at the hearing:
• Development of a market-based pricing model for parking . . .
• Planning grants for compact development . . .
• Metropolitan Planning Organization reform . . .

In Mazo, Cardinal Solar has an eye on the sun — and on high-tech manufacturing

From an article by Barry Adams in the Wisconsin State Journal:

MAZOMANIE — The furnace at Cardinal Solar Technologies on this village's west side is far from ordinary.

Yes, it heats the 180,000-square-foot building. But the primary purpose of the $5.5 million, 120-foot-long apparatus, which took six months to install, is to harden 2-by-4-foot sheets of quarter-inch-thick glass used to make solar photovoltaic panels.

If projections bear out, it may be a while before the 1,200-degree, gas-fired convection furnace is allowed to cool, as more solar energy installations are built around the world.

"They're mostly in Europe right now," said Bob Bond, president of Cardinal ST. "But the United States is coming. I visited one near Las Vegas that will have a million panels sitting in the desert. And that will all be our glass."

Very little of the energy used in the U.S. comes from the sun. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, petroleum, natural gas and coal accounted for 93 percent of the total in 2008. Renewable energy, which includes hydropower, biomass, geothermal, wind and solar, combined to make up the remainder. Solar energy accounted for just 1 percent.

But that sliver of the market, combined with state and federal incentives, has Cardinal ST officials enthusiastic about the future.

Jauch, Sherman, talk Clean Energy Jobs in Ashland

From an article by Matt Standal posted on the Northland Newscenter:

ASHLAND, WIS. - Wisconsin Politicians say new renewable energy Standards could be the key to creating more jobs.

It's called the Clean Energy Jobs Act, and the final public hearing was today in Ashland.

Local folks and political figures gathered at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor's Center to voice their opinions regarding its changes.

"We would be remiss to ignore the opportunities presented by this bill," State Senator Bob Jauch said, speaking at the hearing. "These are the kinds of initiatives that could create jobs in Wisconsin and protect our environment."

If adopted by Wisconsin's state legislature in April, proponents say The Clean Energy Jobs Act would Create At Least 15,000 Green Jobs by 2025 in Wisconsin.

According to Senator Jauch, the bill's major changes would include new statewide goals for greenhouse gas emissions, improved state funding for renewable energy resources, and strict new requirements for Wisconsin–based renewable energy to flow through the municipal grid.

Jauch and State Representative Gary Sherman say those new requirements should result in better funding for a larger renewable energy industry and more renewable energy jobs too.

Tourism and forestry are our two main industries in the area and they are linked together by this environment," Sherman said. "If we can find a way to produce jobs, to produce industry, to produce economic development without destroying that resource, than we are looking at a bright future," Sherman added.

Local residents largely agreed, speaking for or against various points on the proposed bill.

"I was happy to present to Senator Jauch today a petition in support of this bills signed by more than 150 area residents," said community organizer Bill Busse from Bayfield. "So it has strong grassroots support in our area."

However, several speakers vocally opposed the bill's most controversial measure, a resolution reversing the moratorium on new nuclear energy development throughout Wisconsin.

Debate over Clean Energy Jobs Act centers on prices

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

In the rhetoric of the energy bill debate in Madison, energy prices will go up - either because the Legislature passes the Clean Energy Jobs Act or because the Legislature fails to pass it.

Rising energy prices are a familiar refrain to many in Wisconsin, where energy expenditures total $16 billion a year. A review of electricity price increases by the Journal Sentinel found residential customers across the state pay 39% to 70% more than they paid in 2001.

Advocates on both sides of the debate over the Clean Energy Jobs Act are raising fears about higher costs.

Opponents say utilities will have to invest billions of dollars in wind farms and other projects to comply with an aggressive renewable energy mandate proposed by the bill. Supporters say billions of dollars are at risk because of Wisconsin's heavy reliance on coal.

A new analysis by the state Public Service Commission found that utility bills are likely to be less in 2025 if the bill passes and there's a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system that penalizes coal.

Public Service Commission Chairman Eric Callisto testified at a recent hearing that power prices for a typical Wisconsin customer would fall nearly 7% if the bill is passed and there's a $20-per-ton price on carbon. Prices would fall 1% if there's a $10-per-ton price on carbon and would rise nearly 6.6% if there's no carbon price, he said.

"But that's not reality," he said. "I don't believe for a second that we're going to see a future where carbon doesn't have a price on it."

In its studies over the last several years, the commission has been banking on the fact that there will be a price on carbon, he said.

Under that scenario, "there are dollars left on the table by the status quo," Callisto said.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Companies support clean energy jobs

From the home page of Governor Doyle:

Companies show support for clean energy jobs

From the home page of Governor Doyle:

Doyle announces $500,000 in stimulus grants for energy independence planning

From a news release issued by Governor Doyle:

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today awarded $500,000 in Recovery Act funds to communities moving toward a clean energy future. The Governor announced 11 grants totaling $500,000 to help 24 communities develop plans to reach his “25 by 25” energy independence goals.

“These grants will help Wisconsin communities across the state seize the opportunity to save money through energy efficiency and grow a strong new part of our economy in clean energy,” Governor Doyle said. “Through the Recovery Act, our communities will lead as the world moves rapidly in the direction of clean energy and energy efficiency. We spend $16 billion on fossil fuel energy every year in Wisconsin, and all those dollars are lost to our economy. By working toward these ambitious renewable energy goals, we will create good jobs and continue our state’s clean energy leadership.”

The grant program is funded through the Recovery Act’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The 24 communities will create “25x25” plans to meet the Governor’s goal of generating 25 percent of the state’s electricity and transportation fuels from renewable resources by the year 2025.

The 2010 Wisconsin Energy Independent Community Partnership Pilots are: City of Altoona, Crawford County, City of Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, City of Fennimore, Village of Ferryville, Green Lake County, City of Gays Mills, City of Jefferson, City of Kaukauna, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Village of La Farge, City of Monona, Polk County, City of Prairie du Chien, Shawano County, Village of Soldiers Grove, Vernon County, Village of Viola, City of Viroqua, Waukesha County, and City of Whitewater.

The 25x25 plan process begins this month and will be completed by December 2010. During the process, opportunities will be available for other communities to learn from the experiences of the pilot communities. Open meetings on the topic will be held by the Office of Energy Independence during the months of April, August and December.

The program builds on Governor Doyle’s work to make Wisconsin a clean energy leader. Last month, Governor Doyle launched the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a landmark legislative package to accelerate the state’s green economy and create jobs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Doyle announces $500,000 in stimulus grants for energy independence planning

From a news release issued by Governor Doyle:

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today awarded $500,000 in Recovery Act funds to communities moving toward a clean energy future. The Governor announced 11 grants totaling $500,000 to help 24 communities develop plans to reach his “25 by 25” energy independence goals.

“These grants will help Wisconsin communities across the state seize the opportunity to save money through energy efficiency and grow a strong new part of our economy in clean energy,” Governor Doyle said. “Through the Recovery Act, our communities will lead as the world moves rapidly in the direction of clean energy and energy efficiency. We spend $16 billion on fossil fuel energy every year in Wisconsin, and all those dollars are lost to our economy. By working toward these ambitious renewable energy goals, we will create good jobs and continue our state’s clean energy leadership.”

The grant program is funded through the Recovery Act’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program. The 24 communities will create “25x25” plans to meet the Governor’s goal of generating 25 percent of the state’s electricity and transportation fuels from renewable resources by the year 2025.

The 2010 Wisconsin Energy Independent Community Partnership Pilots are: City of Altoona, Crawford County, City of Eau Claire, Eau Claire County, City of Fennimore, Village of Ferryville, Green Lake County, City of Gays Mills, City of Jefferson, City of Kaukauna, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Village of La Farge, City of Monona, Polk County, City of Prairie du Chien, Shawano County, Village of Soldiers Grove, Vernon County, Village of Viola, City of Viroqua, Waukesha County, and City of Whitewater.

The 25x25 plan process begins this month and will be completed by December 2010. During the process, opportunities will be available for other communities to learn from the experiences of the pilot communities. Open meetings on the topic will be held by the Office of Energy Independence during the months of April, August and December.

The program builds on Governor Doyle’s work to make Wisconsin a clean energy leader. Last month, Governor Doyle launched the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a landmark legislative package to accelerate the state’s green economy and create jobs.

Town of Holland can't block wind farms, developer says

From an article by Scott Williams in The Northwestern (Oshkosh):

A wind farm developer has cautioned town of Holland officials that their moratorium on construction of wind farms is not legally enforceable.

Invenergy LLC, which is seeking state approval for a wind farm in southern Brown County, also questions Holland's toughened setback requirements for wind turbines.
"Regardless of the town's desire to enact such a moratorium or setbacks, it has no power to do so," Invenergy attorney Peter Gardon wrote in a six-page letter dated Feb. 4.

The Holland Town Board voted Feb. 1 to impose a one-year moratorium on wind farm construction so residents could have more time to study and debate the Invenergy plan. The Chicago-based company wants to build 22 wind turbines in Holland, as well as 78 more in the neighboring towns of Morrison, Wrightstown and Glenmore.

It would be the first major commercial wind farm in Brown County and the largest in Wisconsin.

An opposition group called Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy has urged Holland and the other towns to enact moratoriums.

WE Energies to hold meeting on proposed biomass energy plant

From an article by Kevin Murphy in the Marshfield News Herald:

MADISON -- WE Energies will host a Feb. 20 open house to update residents about its planned $250 million biomass power plant at the Domtar paper mill in Rothschild.

Since announcing the plant in September, WE Energies has been going "door-to-door" and meeting with community leaders to gather local questions and concerns about the plant that would burn mill residue and trucked-in waste wood. The facility would produce enough power supply 40,000 homes, said WE Energies spokesman Brian Manthey.

"We're still finding the answers to questions about emissions, construction schedules and early phases of operations but we can let people know what we know," said Manthey of the open house, planned for noon to 4 p.m. at the Rothschild Holiday Inn & Suites.

Farmers testify at hearing on Clean Energy Jobs

From a news release issued by the Wisconsin Farmers Union and posted on the Web site of WQOW-TV (Eau Claire):

Chippewa Falls, Wis. (Press Release) -- The Wisconsin Farmers Union joined renewable energy producers at a senate hearing held in the Capitol today to ask elected leaders to support the Low Carbon Fuel Standard as a part of the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

"The Low Carbon Fuel Standard will support Wisconsin farmers by creating new markets to sell crops to power our homes, schools, and businesses," said Mike Stranz, Government Relations Specialist at the Wisconsin Farmer's Union.

Under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), fuel providers in the state must gradually reduce the average carbon content of the mix of fuels sold in the state. An LCFS benefits the agricultural community by increasing demand for crops capable of producing low-carbon fuels such as switchgrass, woody biomass and crop residue.

"By growing our own low-carbon fuels, we can become more energy independent and put money into the pockets of hard-working Wisconsin farmers," said Jamie Derr, Owner and Operator of Derr Solarmass LLC. "Why spend billions buying foreign fossil fuels when Wisconsin farmers can grow much of our fuel right here at home?"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Eau Claire Chamber announces "green" businesses

From a news release posted on the Web site of WQOW-TV (Eau Claire):

Eau Claire - The Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce has selected 10 Chamber member businesses as the initial group of business to be identified by the Chamber as Green Sustainable businesses.

Those businesses selected include: Applied Data Consultants, Department of Interiors Ltd., Laser Product Technologies, Liberty Exteriors Inc., Luther Midelfort-Mayo Health System, PESI, LLC, Phillips Plastics Corporation, RealityWorks, Inc., Superior Auto Body, and Sacred Heart Hospital. These businesses range from five employees to 4,500 employees.

The areas of selection include: 1) Energy Conservation 2) Purchasing 3) Recycling 4) Transportation 5) Social Capital 6) Waste Prevention 7) Water Conservation. Businesses must earn at least 40 points in five categories, if they employee 50 or fewer employees and 60 points in all seven categories if they employee more than 50 employees. The selection is done by a panel of six Chamber member representatives based on an application submitted by the businesses. The committee will meet monthly to review future applications that are submitted to the Chamber.

Marshfield aims to decrease fossil fuel use

From an article by Liz Welter in the Marshfield News-Herald:

Marshfield city government and infrastructure could reduce its non-renewable energy consumption by 25 percent using a plan the Sustainable Marshfield Committee devised.

The proposed plan to achieve the 25 percent reduction isn't unanimously supported by Common Council members.

The council debated the plan last month prior to approving it 8-2 with Alderpersons Alanna Feddick and Ed Wagner voting no. The plan calculates the costs and savings to the city if projects are implemented from 2011 to 2025. . . .

The committee has identified potential cost-saving measures, but what to implement is the council's decision, Earll said.
The cost of some of the items would burden the city with long-term debt, Feddick said.

"My concern is that the price tag put on these blue sky or pie-in-the sky ideas will be paid for by our future generations.

"I'm all for recycling and protecting the environment, it's something my family has done for years, but we need to protect the taxpayers too," Feddick said.

The Marshfield 25x25 Plan for Energy Independence was the product of a grant initiated by Gov. Jim Doyle to demonstrate that communities throughout Wisconsin could reduce their dependence on fossil fuels 25 percent by 2025.

The committee has applied for another grant that would provide about $225,000 to implement some of the identified energy-saving measures, said Amy Peterson, a municipal planner who was contracted to assist the committee regarding the grants.
"If the city gets the (grant) and uses it along with the projects for the fire station (construction), they will be well on their way to meeting the 25 by 25 goal," she said.

MMSD and Kenosha County join in 25x25 goal

From a news release issued by Govenor Doyle:

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that the City of Madison, Kenosha County and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) have joined the Wisconsin Energy Independent Community Partnership. They have pledged to work toward Governor Doyle’s “25x25” goal of generating 25 percent of the state’s electricity and transportation fuels from renewable resources by the year 2025. . . .

“I welcome Madison, Kenosha County and MMSD as new partners in working toward energy independence that keeps energy dollars in our state, creates good jobs and cleans our air and water,” Governor Doyle said. “Every year, we send $16 billion out of state to power our homes and businesses and fuel our cars. Building a clean energy economy is not only an enormous opportunity to capture those dollars, but also create good jobs here in Wisconsin.”

Last month, Governor Doyle launched the Clean Energy Jobs Act, a landmark legislative package to accelerate the state’s green economy and create jobs. The package calls for updating renewable portfolio standards to generate 25 percent of Wisconsin’s fuel from renewable sources by 2025 and sets a realistic goal of a 2 percent annual reduction in energy consumption by 2015. A comprehensive economic assessment of the package found that it would directly create at least 15,000 green jobs in Wisconsin by 2025.

Organic farming conference, La Crosse, Feb. 25-27

From a description of the MOSES Organic Farming Conference:

The MOSES Organic Farming Conference is the largest organic farming conference in the U.S. Organized by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), and held annually in La Crosse, WI, the OFC is an extraordinary, farmer-centered event.

With over 60 informative workshops, 140+ exhibitors, locally-sourced organic food, live entertainment and inspirational keynote speakers, the OFC is celebrated as the foremost educational and networking event in the organic farming community.

From its humble beginning with 90 attendees twenty years ago, our most recent conference in February attracted over 2,600 farmers, advocates, educators, and community members!

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION DEADLINES
Mail-in Registration Deadline: This Friday, February 12, 2010
Download a REGISTRATION FORM to mail in. (Mailed registrations must be post-marked by Feb. 12th to be accepted)

Online Registration Deadline: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - Midnight. Go to ONLINE REGISTRATION now!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sustainable communities roundtable and forum, Februrary and March

From an announcement of community roundtables by the University of Wisconsin System:

Six regional Sustainable Communities Roundtables — in Central Wisconsin, De Pere, Waukesha, Chequamegon Bay, Rhinelander, and Chippewa Valley — begin in late February and lead up to the March 25-26 Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum. The two- to three-hour sessions will open with an overview of sustainability efforts in the state and conclude with a facilitated process to identify sustainability policy issues, barriers, strengths, and possibilities.

Chippewa Valley Roundtable
Date: March 3, 9-11 a.m.
Location: Eau Claire County – UW-Extension, 227 1st Street West, Altoona
Contact: Andrew Dane, andrew.dane@ces.uwex.edu, 715-226-1347

Chequamegon Bay Roundtable
Date: March 3, 6-8 p.m.
Location: Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, 29270 County Highway G, Ashland
Contacts: Timothy Kane, timothy.kane@ces.uwex.edu, 715-373-6104
Tom Wojciechowski, tom.wojciechowski@ces.uwex.edu, 715-682-7017

The Sustainable Communities Public Policy Forum is the third in a series of forums designed to focus University of Wisconsin System resources on Wisconsin's most vexing social, environmental, and economic challenges. These forums inform the debate around selected current issues confronting Wisconsin residents by bringing objective, research-based information to the dialogue. Forums utilize experts to cover issues impacting the state of Wisconsin.

Sustainable Communities Policy Forum
March 25-26, 2010
University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley
Communication Arts Center
1478 Midway Road, Menasha