Renewable Energy Installations in WI

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Renewable Energy Summit, March 12-14, Milwaukee

Register now! For the 2008 Wisconsin Renewable Energy Summit. It should be the largest renewable energy event in Wisconsin outside of the Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair.

Wisconsin Renewable Energy Summit

The fifth annual Wisconsin Renewable Energy Summit will be held in Milwaukee, WI on March 12-14, 2008 at the Midwest Airlines Center. The Summit, titled Green Jobs – Growing Wisconsin’s Economy, will focus on the role that renewable energy, such as wind power, solar energy, geothermal, green buildings and bio-energy technologies, will play in supporting Wisconsin’s economic well being. Growth of renewable energy businesses will create new “green collar” jobs in Wisconsin. Those jobs include: manufacturers, installers, consultants, engineers, and associated professions. Renewable energy in Wisconsin has the potential to produce 35,000 jobs in the next 10years.

Topics to be covered:
- Jobs Growth Potential and Economic Development from Renewable Energy Growth
- New Developments in Renewable Energy
- The Potential Role for Business & Industry in Renewable Energy
- Wind Power – utility-scale, community-scale wind projects, and small wind
- Solar Electric – solar electric projects for non-profits and businesses
- Solar Water Heating – educational session and case studies of businesses
- Green Buildings – case studies, LEED overview, geothermal, and sustainable design
- Renewable Energy Education – including K-12, College and Universities, and the
- Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) consumer and installer education
- Transportation – electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, ethanol and bio-fuels
- Bio-Energy – bio-refineries and agriculture digester projects
- Drivers of the energy transition; markets & climate

Who Attends
The Summit will present fresh and invaluable information on the business and workforce opportunities in Wisconsin’s RE-marketplace. Presenters and attendees include RE producers, manufacturers, contractors and consulting firms, state agencies, NGO’s and students, faculty and administrators from WTCS Colleges, University of Wisconsin institutions, and Wisconsin K-12 schools.

Exhibition Opportunities
Exhibition spots are available at the Summit to reach your target audience of renewable energy professionals along with students, faculty and administrators from Wisconsin colleges and schools. Contact William P. Quirmbach at (414)297-6300 or by email at for more exhibition information, or click on the Exhibitor Information button on right. Register and pay by March 1, 2008 to be included in Summit materials.

Sponsorship Opportunities
Opportunities are available to be a sponsor of the Summit at your choice of participation level. Contact Bob Gilbertson at 608-849-2400 or by email at or click on the Sponsorship Opportunities button on right.

Registration Details
Pricing, registration on-line or via mail/fax and other registration details are available at

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Doyle' State of the State highlights energy

From Governor Doyle's State of the State address on January 23:

Creating Renewable Energy

We have set Wisconsin on the right course to seize new economic opportunities and lead our nation’s response to one of the most critical challenges of our time…

Our addiction to foreign oil is compromising our national security, paralyzing our economy, and melting the polar ice caps.

The global threat of climate change is undeniable. Temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere have reached their warmest point in over two thousand years.

A barrel of oil has topped $100… and just look at the price of gasoline at the pump – nearly double what it was just five years ago.

The oil companies don’t care. They’re making the biggest profits in history.

Our country is sending over a billion dollars a week in oil payments to the Middle East. Just imagine if we were investing that kind of money right here in Wisconsin.

Energy Accomplishments

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – we should depend more on the Midwest and less on the Mideast, and today we are.

Since I became Governor, we’ve worked together to increase production of Wisconsin-made ethanol from zero gallons to half a billion gallons per year.

Last fall, I brought governors from across the Midwest together in Milwaukee to chart a new energy direction for our region and our world.

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison we are launching the Great Lakes BioEnergy Research Center bringing together researchers from five other universities across the country.

Our nation’s dependence on foreign oil must end, but drilling our way out of this crisis is not the answer. We must invent and innovate our way to a cleaner, safer energy future.

…and tonight, from generating wind power in Fond du Lac to harnessing the power of biomass in Rice Lake, Wisconsin is ready to lead the way.

Energy Independence Fund

Tonight we’ll launch an aggressive new strategy to reduce the pollution that causes global warming and grow Wisconsin’s economy – the Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund – a major new investment to make Wisconsin a world leader in renewable energy and homegrown power.

Over the next 10 years Wisconsin will invest $150 million to help our businesses, our farmers, our foresters, and our manufacturers produce and promote renewable energy.

Our strong manufacturing base and rich agricultural industries, along with the wealth of resources in our vast northern forests and world-leading research universities, position Wisconsin to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy.

From manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels to retro-fitting fuel pumps and exploring the latest clean technologies, we will seize green opportunities and create good jobs for our citizens.

But we won’t stop there.

Renewable Fuel Initiative

Tonight we’ll launch a new campaign to increase the availability of renewable fuel by 1 billion gallons.

First we’ll provide new tax credits for biodiesel fuel producers and add 400 new renewable fuel pumps to our roads.

Second let’s pass a renewable fuel standard sponsored by Senator Kreitlow and Representative Suder to require oil companies to provide renewable fuel for our consumers.

Energy Efficiency

Energy costs continue to rise and Wisconsin families deserve relief. Over the next 18 months, we will make another historic investment – $95 million – to help save families and businesses over half a billion dollars over the next decade.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

School District's energy savings win EPA energy saving award

From an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District is doing its part for the environment, according to a recent round of awards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The district was one of nine nationwide to be designated an Energy Star Leader by the EPA. The title is the agency's top honor for energy saving and goes to organizations such as schools, hospitals, supermarkets and hotels that own more than two facilities and reduce energy consumption by more than 10%.

Along with eight school districts in Minnesota, the West Allis-West Milwaukee district significantly reduced its energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in 2007.

West Allis-West Milwaukee credits the award in part to its partnership with Energy Education Inc., a national energy conservation company that has worked with the district since 2005.

In two years, the district has saved more than $1 million in energy costs, according to a district statement.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

41 new local utilities and 168,000 utility customers now eligible for help from Focus on Energy

From a press release issued by Wisconsin Public Power, Inc. (WPPI):

Approximately 168,000 electric utility customers who are served by members of Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) will benefit from the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program. WPPI has joined Focus on Energy, a statewide initiative to help utility customers reduce their energy use and install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

“We welcome WPPI’s 41 Wisconsin utilities into Focus on Energy and encourage all 168,000 customers to take full advantage of the benefits available through the program,” said Dan Ebert, Chairperson of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), the agency that manages Focus on Energy. “By following Focus on Energy’s lead, Wisconsin utility customers can help create a healthier environment, protect our natural resources and help reduce emissions that contribute to global warming – all while lowering their monthly utility bills. It is truly a win-win opportunity.”

WPPI and its members have been aggressively pursuing energy efficiency and have joined Focus on Energy to take advantage of the experience and expertise accessible through the program. As a result, WPPI’s Wisconsin customers will be able to participate in the different programs under Focus on Energy.

Customers of the following utilities are now elegible for Focus on Energy program: Algoma Utilities; Black River Falls Municipal Utilities; Boscobel Utilities; Brodhead Water & Light; Cedarburg Light & Water; Columbus Water & Light; Cuba City Light & Water; Eagle River Light & Water Utility; Evansville Water & Light; Florence Utilities; Hartford Electric; Hustisford Utilities; Jefferson Utilities; Juneau Utilities; Kaukauna Utilities; Lake Mills Light & Water; Lodi Utilities; Menasha Utilities; Mount Horeb Utilities; Muscoda Utilities; New Glarus Light & Water; New Holstein Utilities; New London Utilities; New Richmond Utilities; Oconomowoc Utilities; Oconto Falls Municipal Utilities; Plymouth Utilities; Prairie du Sac Utilities; Reedsburg Utility Commission; City Utilities of Richland Center; River Falls Municipal Utilities; Slinger Utilities; Stoughton Utilities; Sturgeon Bay Utilities; Sun Prairie Water & Light; Two Rivers Water & Light; Waterloo Utilities;
Waunakee Utilities; Waupun Utilities; Westby Utilities; Whitehall Electric Utility.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton backs tax break for efficient appliances

From an article by Judith Davidoff in The Capital Times:

Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton wants to give consumers a break -- a sales tax break, to be more precise -- for buying energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances.

Lawton held a news conference this morning at Brothers Main Appliance and TV on Stoughton Road announcing legislation she has drafted that would establish an annual one-week "energy tax holiday" during which Wisconsin residents could avoid paying taxes on Energy Star appliances.

Energy Star is a federal designation for energy-efficient appliances; the program was introduced in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

To be eligible for Lawton's weeklong tax break, which would start the Saturday in April before Earth Day, the appliances would have to cost $1,500 or less and be used in a residence. Contractors would not be eligible for the discount.

Lawton said the bill, which would not go into effect until at least April 2009, would save consumers money both at the store and on their utility bills, reduce harmful carbon emissions and stimulate the economy. She said the proposal has been received favorably by both the Sierra Club and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and has support from both sides of the aisle, with co-sponsors Rep. Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, and Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona.

Cleat Killgallon, owner and chief operating officer of Brothers Main, which operates two stores in Madison and one in Janesville, is ecstatic about the proposal.

"I just wish we could do it this year," he said this morning in an interview. "I think it's fantastic."

The tax holiday would apply to not only the state's 5 percent sales tax, but also to local sales taxes like Dane County's 0.5 percent.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Despite growing economy, state uses less energy

From an article by Mike Ivey in The Capital Times:

Don't tell the people who get rich stringing overhead wires and building coal-fired power plants, but energy use in Wisconsin is trending downward.

A combination of milder weather, higher fuel prices and increased efficiencies sent overall energy use in the state down by 2.1 percent in 2006, according to the new Wisconsin Energy Statistics report.

And while the data for 2007 aren't yet available, the decrease in total energy use represents a major shift from the increases over the past decade. The decline came even as the state experienced a 1 percent gain in total employment and a 1.7 percent increase in the gross state product.

"Weather played a huge role but we'd like to think some of our energy efficiency efforts are paying off," said Jim O'Neal, an analyst with the state Office of Energy Independence.

Perhaps most significantly, electric sales in the state actually fell by 0.7 percent in 2006 following an annual growth rate of 1.7 percent over the past decade.

That's an important statistic to consider as Wisconsin policy-makers ponders whether to make expensive investments in new transmission lines and power plants. Much of the argument from the state's utilities for more electric infrastructure was based on predictions of 2 or 3 percent annual growth in electric use.

Whether the trend of lower electric use in Wisconsin continues into the future remains to be seen. Final 2007 figures won't be released by the state for several months.

But there's no question that more companies are making investments in energy efficiency.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Walling Out Wind

From a commentary by Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin:

What is it about living within sight of large wind turbines that spooks certain people to the point of irrationality?

Consider the example of Trempealeau County in western Wisconsin. At the urging of a local citizens group, the County Board there adopted an ordinance last month that requires wind turbines higher than 150 feet tall to be set back no less than one mile from neighboring residences, schools, churches and businesses. This is by far the longest setback distance on wind turbines imposed to date by a local government in our state.

Now, the population density of Trempealeau County (38 residents per square mile) is less than half of the statewide average of 103 residents per sq. mile. Even so, as one developer pointed out at the hearing, there is not one acre of land that can legally host a commercial wind generator under this ordinance.

Why would a local board effectively ban wind turbines within its jurisdiction? Those backing the ordinance say that the one-mile setback is necessary to protect the health and safety of its citizens. Turbines, they contend, may produce sounds and electrical currents that can cause illnesses, even though no peer-reviewed study documenting such a phenomenon exists.