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Monday, September 30, 2013

The whey-t is over: GreenWhey Energy’s vision of turning cheese plant waste into useable energy becomes reality - The Country Today: Front Page

GreenWhey Energy's is the nation's only privately owned facility to process food waste from multiple sources. This new facility will generate enough energy to power about 3,000 homes. Read more in the Country Today article below:
TURTLE LAKE — After more than five years of planning and a few setbacks, GreenWhey Energy is open for business in Turtle Lake. 
“It’s a good day,” said an emotional Tom Ludy, one of the plant’s owners, during an open house Sept. 26 in the plant’s brand-new intake bay. “It’s been a long time coming.” 
Engines in the $30-million facility were fired up for the first time just a few days before the open house. Ludy said it will take about six months to fully ramp up to full production. 
Eventually, GreenWhey’s two anaerobic digesters will bring in 500,000 gallons of wastewater seven days a week from area cheese plants, converting it to electricity, heat and fertilizer. 
GreenWhey is the only privately owned anaerobic digester facility in the U.S. to utilize wastewater from multiple food processors.
The whey-t is over: GreenWhey Energy’s vision of turning cheese plant waste into useable energy becomes reality - The Country Today: Front Page

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Upon further review, PSC approves Highland wind farm

An article by Tom Content documents how the PSC reversed course on the Highland Wind Farm project, which has now been approved:
After initially rejecting the plan, Wisconsin energy regulators gave the go-ahead Thursday for Emerging Energies to build a $250 million wind farm in western Wisconsin.
The state Public Service Commission approved the St. Croix County wind farm in a 2-to-1 vote, with commission Chairman Phil Montgomery agreeing to support the project.
Earlier this year, Montgomery and commissioner Ellen Nowak had rejected the plan, saying the developer hadn’t shown it was able to comply with the state’s noise standard for wind turbines.
But they opened the door to Emerging Energies to show how it could comply with the standard, and the developer followed up, indicating it could comply with the standard by curtailing some of the turbines at night.
Montgomery said Thursday he was satisfied with the developer's curtailment plan, but wanted to see documentation that the wind turbines are programmed to meet the noise standard -- and that the project developers follow up "with adequate measurement and monitoring."
In a statement after the vote, the conservation group Clean Wisconsin praised the panel’s 2-to-1 decision.
“Today’s decision is a victory for cleaner air and water in Wisconsin,” said Katie Nekola of Clean Wisconsin in a statement. “The Highland Wind project will supply enough clean, safe electricity to power hundreds of homes and businesses, and will displace dirty coal power.”
If the project moves forward to construction, the Highland Wind Farm in the town of Forest in St. Croix County would consist of up to 44 wind turbines, generating 102.5 megawatts of electricity.
Look for updates later today on JSOnline.

Friday, September 20, 2013

New solar park to be built in Jefferson

Some excellent news out of Jefferson today. A new solar project totaling 1 megawatt of power generated over a seven-acre site. Read the article in the Daily Union below:
JEFFERSON — The City of Jefferson Common Council got a glimpse of a bright future Tuesday as developers took a first glimpse at the soon-to-be-completed solar farm on the city’s north side. 
Representatives of Half Moon Ventures, a Chicago-based company that recently purchased the development, presented plans to the council for a renewable energy production facility slated to begin construction three years after talk of a solar field first got under way. 
Green States Energy, a Florida-based company, approached the city in summer 2010 with plans to build a 100-acre solar energy farm on city-owned property that would produce 20 megawatts of electricity. That project was slated to be completed by late 2011 or early 2012.
Although construction on that project never moved forward, earlier this summer, Half Moon Ventures, which maintains a Milwaukee office, purchased a 100-percent interest in the project, gaining complete control over the future development. It intends to construct a seven-acre solar park housing 3,600 solar panels to produce 1 megawatt of electricity. 
It is scheduled to open in December. 
“We have entered into a supplemental agreement with Half Moon Ventures, and that supplemental agreement … also established the lease commencement date as today, Sept. 17,” said City Administrator Tim Freitag. “Earlier this evening, Kevin (Hirsch, Half Moon Ventures chief financial officer) provided a check in the amount of about $123,000 to the City of Jefferson for a 20-year prepaid lease.” 
Hirsch said Half Moon, which bills itself as a “pioneer in renewable energy project development,” will approach the project from a financial angle rather than as a construction or engineering challenge. 
“Renewable large projects today are chiefly a financing project to produce energy at the lowest possible cost with a renewable resource,” he said. “We were very excited to see this project come in front of us, and we only wish it were 20 Megawatts, as we told Tim countless times. But we still think this can be a wonderful project for the city and I hope you guys will see that, as well.”...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wisconsin Libertarian Party surprises observers with endorsement of solar proposal

The state's Libertarians have endorsed a proposal led by RENEW Wisconsin -- a local clean energy group -- to allow Wisconsin electricity customers to lease solar panels for their energy needs.

''Most of us don't trust the environmental movement because they've cried wolf forever and ever,'' Wisconsin Libertarian Party chair Paul Ehlers told a surprised local media over the weekend. ''There are all kinds of philosophical disagreements, but at the end of the day this was pretty much a no-brainer.''

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