Archive for March, 2006

BioFuels Coop holds first meeting, April 8

Posted on March 30, 2006. Filed under: Vehicles - Vegetable oil |

PrairieFire BioFuels Cooperative will hold its first member meeting and fundraiser on Saturday April 8th, from 1:00-3:00 pm, at the High Noon Saloon, 701 East Washington Ave, Madison, WI. We welcome diesel enthusiasts and those interested in increasing the use of domestically available energy resources. Come to learn how Madison’s newest cooperative is making vegetable oil based fuels and technology available to its members, the community, and the region.

We invite businesses and individuals for an afternoon of celebration and an introduction to this movement on the forefront of a national renewable energy economy.


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Farm system converts manure to electricity for We Energies

Posted on March 29, 2006. Filed under: Digesters |

A story by Nathan Phelps in the Green Bay Press Gazette reports on a manure digester at Green Valley Farms:

The cows glanced at the visitors from time to time.

About 100 yards away from the small group of reporters and state officials and farm operators, a generator powered by manure from those cows was busy producing electricity being sold to We Energies.

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WPPI joins Plug-in Partners on hybrid vehicles

Posted on March 28, 2006. Filed under: Vehicles - Hybrid |

In a press release posted on the company’s site, Wisconsin Public Power, Inc. (WPPI) announced its membership in Plug-in Partners:

WPPI joined the other founding members of Plug-in Partners this week to kick off a nationwide campaign to urge automakers to accelerate development of plug-in hybrid vehicles.

“WPPI and its member utilities are committed to being leaders in promoting energy efficiency,” said WPPI Vice President of Marketing Tom Paque. “We believe that the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is an important emerging technology with great benefits.”

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Doyle to gas up with E-85

Posted on March 27, 2006. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |

A press announcement from the governor’s office:

Governor Jim Doyle will be gassing up his GM built flex-fuel vehicle with E-85 and announcing a new state effort to recruit more E-85 pumps on Monday, March 27, 2006 at 12:30 p.m. at a Stop-N-Go station in Madison. Governor Doyle will also outline some additional state initiatives that will keep Wisconsin on the cutting-edge of renewable fuel technology.

Madison’s Schroeder Road Stop-N-Go is one of 20 gas stations in Wisconsin that carries E-85 fuel. E-85 is fuel made with 85 percent ethanol, and 15 percent gasoline, and is generally between $0.11 and $0.50 cheaper than regular unleaded gasoline. It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 flex fuel vehicles in Wisconsin capable of using E-85.

Additional information will be available at the event on the locations of Wisconsin’s E-85 stations, and which vehicles can use the fuel.

Stop-N-Go Convenience Center
6202 Schroeder Road

Monday, March 27, 2006
12:30 p.m.

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State to study rising coal price

Posted on March 24, 2006. Filed under: Generation Plants |

A story by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on concerns about the cost of coal:

State energy regulators will investigate the impact that the rising price of coal and disruptions to rail deliveries are having on Wisconsin utilities and electric rates.

The state Public Service Commission announced Thursday it will study the rising cost of transporting coal used to power Wisconsin power plants coming from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.

The state’s utilities saw higher costs of about $50 million last year because of disruptions caused by train derailments last spring in Wyoming. Those derailments caused fewer shipments of coal, leading utilities to conserve coal and rely more heavily on natural gas-fired power plants rather than coal plants.

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Wind farm clears court hurdle, now faces new Air Force review

Posted on March 24, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

Tom Content in a story in the Milwauke Journal Sentinel reports:

A Dodge County Circuit judge said the Public Service Commission was correct last summer when it authorized construction of a $250 million wind power project in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties.

The decision Thursday means construction could proceed on the project, except for concerns raised last week by the Federal Aviation Administration over problems that wind turbines could create for a surveillance radar used by the U.S. Air Force in the Horicon area.

An earlier story had more on the Air Force review.

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Doyle launches $225,000 renewables grant program

Posted on March 23, 2006. Filed under: Energy Policy |

From a press release issued by the governor:

MARATHON CITY – Governor Jim Doyle today launched the Promoting Our Wisconsin Energy Resources (POWER) Initiative with a $225,000 grant program to help businesses, local governments, and even homeowners utilize renewable energy. . . .

[T]he first part of the POWER Initiative will include $225,000 in grants to help facilitate the use of renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro, and biomass.

Wind – $75,000 in grants will be focused on wind energy, and will be targeted at activities such as developing a wind GIS map of Wisconsin to identify where wind power is feasible, reaching out to rural electric cooperatives and consumers, and certifying small wind turbines for residential use.

Biomass – $75,000 in grants will be focused on biomass, and targeted at activities to develop markets for biomass products by connecting owners of biomass resources with companies that are using biomass as an energy source. It is anticipated that this funding will assist in developing a commodity exchange for wood materials.

Hydro – $75,000 in grants will focused on hydro, and targeted at ten small hydro dam feasibility studies. As energy prices go up, local governments are looking more to their dams to generate electricity.

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Proposed Sparta ethanol plant gets warm reception at meeting

Posted on March 21, 2006. Filed under: Vehicles - Ethanol |

A story by Steve Cahalan in the La Crosse Tribune reports on plans for a 40 million gallon ethanol plant:

BANGOR, Wis. — The concept of farmers banding together to build and operate an ethanol plant in Sparta, Wis., got a warm reception at a public meeting attended by about 300 people Monday night in Bangor.

The city of Sparta is offering 34 acres of free land for the proposed project, just east of the Century Foods International plant, Sparta City Administrator Ken Witt said. The plant, which would make ethanol from corn, might employ 35 to 40 people.

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Wind will grow stronger and feed economy

Posted on March 20, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

A story by Ben Fischer in the Wisconsin State Journal reviews the prospects of economic development from the renewable industry:

Evco Plastics in DeForest uses more than $1 million worth of electricity every year, President Dale Evans figures.

It’s a standard cost of doing business, but Evans still laments how much of his cash flow leaves the Wisconsin economy and ends up in the hands of far-off coal and natural gas companies.

But if Wisconsin could start making more electricity at home, at least those millions would be a local investment, Evans said. Maybe some of it would even work its way back into Evco in the form of new plastic-manufacturing contracts.

That’s exactly what alternative energy advocates are convinced would happen if wind power turns into a full-fledged windmill manufacturing business.

Governor James Doyle signed Senate Bill 459, which codifies the recommendations of the bipartisan Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewables. A video of the signing which took place at the Solar Mining Company, Green Bay, is posted on the Web.

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We Energies submits application for wind project

Posted on March 17, 2006. Filed under: Wind |

We Energies announced the latest step in development of its Blue Sky Green Field Wind Project:

MILWAUKEE – We Energies filed a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application today with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for authorization to construct the Blue Sky Green Field Wind Project.

The proposed wind project will be located in the towns of Calumet and Marshfield in northeast Fond du Lac County. The wind project is being designed to generate up to 203 megawatts of electricity, enough energy to power approximately 45,000 residential homes. The project will consist of approximately 88 wind turbines with an installed cost of up to $346 million, which includes allowance for funds used during construction.

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