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Friday, July 27, 2012

Wisconsin's first community wind farm up and running in Cashton

In addition to RENEW's news releaseJessica Larsen of the La Crosse Tribune covered the dedication of the Cashton Greens Wind Farm:

CASHTON, WIS. — Wisconsin’s first community wind project is now up and running in Cashton.

A joint project of Organic Valley and Gundersen Lutheran’s Envision program, the Cashton Greens Wind Farm features two wind turbines expected to generate nearly 5 megawatts of energy for Cashton’s power grid — enough to power 1,000 homes each year.

The energy produced with the $10.5 million project will more than offset electricity used at Organic Valley’s Cashton Distribution Center and its La Farge headquarters facilities, and it represents about five percent of Gundersen’s energy independence goal.

As developers and owners of the wind farm, Organic Valley and Gundersen will receive income per kilowatt hour generated. Organic Valley will buy back its portion of energy to offset its footprint through a renewable energy contract with the villages of Cashton and La Farge.

The renewable energy project ties to the hospital’s goal of improving health in local communities while lowering the cost of health care, said Jeff Rich, executive director of the hospital’s Envision program.

“I plan to be a more effective, less costly health system because of projects like this,” said Dr. Jeffrey Thompson, Gundersen Lutheran CEO.

The two organizations held a grand opening Wednesday for the project, which is next to Organic Valley’s distribution center off Hwy. 27 in Cashton.

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