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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

RENEW Applauds Dairyland Power and EDP Renewables for Wind Energy Expansion

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Tyler Huebner, Executive Director
608-575- 2201 (cell)

RENEW Applauds Dairyland Power and EDP Renewables for Wind Energy Expansion

Also in southwest Wisconsin, the Montfort Wind Farm

Madison, WI – June 8, 2016

Today, Dairyland Power Cooperative, based in La Crosse, announced they will purchase power from a new utility-scale wind energy project in Lafayette County in southwest Wisconsin.

The “Quilt Block” wind project will be developed by EDP Renewables, which has its U.S. headquarters in Houston, Texas. The project is approximately 98 megawatts, which when constructed will provide over 15% of Wisconsin’s wind power.

RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director, Tyler Huebner, said “We congratulate and applaud Dairyland Power Cooperative and EDP Renewables for this major clean energy venture that will bring a multitude of benefits to southwest Wisconsin and Dairyland Power members throughout the state. Dairyland is making the most of the opportunity at hand to lock in the benefits of low-cost clean energy for its member cooperatives.”

The project will deliver savings to ratepayers as well as stimulate the local economy. Quilt Block will yield an annual revenue stream of nearly $400,000 to Lafayette County and the Town of Seymour, while creating hundreds of family-supporting jobs during construction. All across the Midwest, rural local governments have relied on utility-scale wind generation to minimize property tax increases.

Huebner said, “We also salute EDP Renewables for designing a wind power project that is strongly supported by the local community, and for staying with it for more than a dozen years.”

Concluded Huebner, “Between WPPI Energy’s recent windpower request-for- proposals announcement earlier this week, Dairyland’s multimegawatt solar energy initiative, and its new wind power project, renewable energy is now clearly cost-competitive in Wisconsin.”

Dairyland's press release can be found at

This story was covered in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the La Crosse Tribune.

Monday, June 6, 2016

RENEW Recognizes School District’s Solar Achievement

The Darlington Community School District kicked off the month of June with a ribbon-cutting
ceremony in honor of its solar electric system installed late last year and energized this winter.The 156 kilowatt array atop the elementary-middle school is, according to RENEW’s project data base, the largest photovoltaic array serving a public school system in the state.

A southwest Wisconsin community with a population of nearly 2,500, Darlington is the seat of government in Lafayette County. There are about 800 students enrolled in the school district.

Under blazing sunshine and a cobalt blue sky, RENEW’s Michael Vickerman presented a plaque to Darlington School Board president Aaron Wolfe honoring the district’s achievement in becoming “the largest solar electricity producer of any K-12 school district in Wisconsin.”

Vickerman said: “We are delighted to present this award to you not only to recognize your great achievement with this solar installation, but also to inspire other school districts in Wisconsin to equal or surpass what you’ve accomplished here in Darlington.”

Consisting of 510 panels expected to generate 200,000 kilowatt-hours/year, Darlington’s array is sized to supply 25% of the electricity consumed at both the high school and the neighboring elementary school. The school district expects to save about $11,500 annually in electricity costs.

Working closely with Madison solar consultant Niels Wolter, the school district obtained a $63,000 renewable energy incentive from Focus on Energy and a $61,000 grant from U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program. Midwest-based solar investors also provided funding for the installation.

The district also received Hoffman’s 2016 TPM ™ sustainability award from Mark Hanson, Director of Sustainable Services, with Appleton-based Hoffman Planning, Design and Construction, Inc., which provided solar planning services.

After the ribbon was cut, Lee Black, the district’s buildings and grounds manager, shepherded a group up to the roof to view the installation and answer questions.

For more information on the Darlington Solar Education Project, visit their website here.

Real-time monitoring information from the Darlington array can be accessed here.