Archive for May, 2009

State snares federal dollars for wind energy work

Posted on May 8, 2009. Filed under: Economic development, Wind |

REVISED May 12, 2009

Ed Blume

(MADISON-WI) — State snares federal dollars for renewable energy work

In the most recent round of federal renewable energy grants, Wisconsin led all states in capturing project dollars to address market and development challenges associated with wind energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that a Wisconsin non-profit organization and three post-secondary schools captured more than $1 million for projects to promote market acceptance and workforce development, two challenges identified in a 2008 DOE report.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive nearly $600,000, while the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will receive just over $300,000 and Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland, WI) a little less than $200,000.

“Our success in receiving these awards is a reflection of the State of Wisconsin’s strong commitment to expanding the wind energy marketplace here,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide renewable energy advocacy organization.

RENEW Wisconsin proposed in its grant application to develop a one-stop online source of information for wind developers, state and local policymakers and regulators, and the general public.

The web site will include documents and links to relevant state and federal statutes and rules, facts sheets on everything from aesthetics to court decisions, zoning, and other resources, as well as a calendar of upcoming workshops, seminars, training, briefings, grant opportunities, RFPs, and other relevant events and opportunities.

The other grants will promote workforce development. The UW-Madison will provide short courses in wind power plant design, construction and operations and develop curriculum to integrate wind energy systems curriculum into power engineering education programs; the UW-Milwaukee intends to create a wind energy educational collaborative in southeastern Wisconsin; and Lakeshore Technical College will develop additional partnerships to boosts its ongoing wind technician training programs.

DOE Awards in Market Acceptance:
• RENEW Wisconsin (Madison, WI) – Sowing the Seeds for a Bountiful Harvest: Shaping the Rules and Creating the Tools for Wisconsin’s Next Generation of Wind Farms – $93,348

DOE Awards in Workforce Development
• The Board of Regents of the UW System (Madison, WI) – A Continuing Education Short Course and Engineering Curriculum to Accelerate Workforce Development in Wind Power Plant Design, Construction, and Operations – $119,135
• Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland, WI) – POWER – Purposeful Partnerships Coordinating Wind Education Resources – $199,236
• University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI) – Integration of Wind Energy Systems into Power Engineering Education Programs at UW-Madison – $399,931
• University Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI) – Southeast Wisconsin Wind Energy Educational Collaborative – $330,184

Full list of awards and DOE news release at

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Wind power is job creator in tough times, governors say

Posted on May 8, 2009. Filed under: Economic development, Wind |

From a blog post by Tom Content on JSOnline:

Midwestern governors on Tuesday endorsed a national renewable energy standard that they said would stimulate creation of more manufacturing jobs in the Midwest.

A poll conducted for the American Wind Energy Association and released at the association’s annual conference in Chicago found that voters back a national mandate to require 25% of the nation’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2025.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points, found bipartisan support for the renewable power standard, said Denise Bode, AWEA chief executive, with 86% of Democrats, 71% of independents and 62% of Republicans backing 25% renewable power by 2025.

Bode and four Midwestern governors spoke on a conference call on the opening day of the wind industry’s annual conference, which is taking place as Congress is debating energy legislation including a renewable energy mandate and measures aimed at boosting the nation’s transmission grid.

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle pointed to the job-creation taking place in Wisconsin Rapids, a town hit hard by cutbacks in the paper industry, with the expansion of Energy Composites Inc., a supplier to the wind industry.

“Initially they’re hiring 400 people, and hope to be going to 1,000 people that will be building blades” for wind turbines, Doyle said.

“This really is what we really are all talking about and we hope it’s repeated hundreds and hundreds of times over,” he said.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

WindPower 2009

Posted on May 7, 2009. Filed under: General |

Twenty thousand people, Ed Blume and Michael Vickerman among them, crowded into seminars and the trade show (below) at WindPower2009, the American Wind Energy Association’s annual convention in Chicago’s McCormick Place on May 4-6.


Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Cedar Rapids finds economic development potential of wind

Posted on May 6, 2009. Filed under: Economic development, Wind |

From “Wind Energy and Green Jobs,” published by the Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition is a bipartisan group of 24 of the nation’s governors dedicated to expanding development of wind resources to meet America’s domestic energy demands in an environmentally responsible manner— while reducing the nation’s dependence on imported fuel sources:

Over the past three years activity levels noticeably changed on Bowling Street Southwest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A huge manufacturing facility that sat dormant for several years after the Rockwell Goss manufacturing plant closed in the late 1990s is now back in production, delivering commercial scale wind turbines to power U.S. homes and businesses.

Founded in 2002 in California, Santa Barbara-based Clipper Windpower opened its expansive 330,000 square foot Iowa plant in 2005 to assemble its 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbine, which stands as tall as a 30-story building and sweeps the area of a football field. Just one of these wind turbines can power about 700 average American homes.

Originally built in the 1960’s, the Cedar Rapids plant has been used for a variety of heavy-industry activities, including the manufacture of huge printing presses more than 30 feet tall. Bob Loyd, Clipper’s Cedar Rapids plant manager, has over 30 years of industrial experience in the region, having managed the facility for 15 years during its printing press era. Similar to wind turbines, these printing presses were comprised of a large number of diff erent interrelated components and a complex multi-shaft, high-precision geared power transmission. Gear grinding, in fact, was one of the inhouse activities at the time.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Stimulus funds, biogas plan could bring in dollars

Posted on May 4, 2009. Filed under: Biomass |

From an article by David Baulch in the Daily Citizen (Beaver Dam, WI):

A project already deemed too good to be true by some city officials may be getting even better.

A $16.9 million plan to upgrade the city of Beaver Dam’s wastewater utility plant is eligible for stimulus funding of up to 50 percent, which would allow the city to keep its utility rate, already the fifth lowest in the state, stable. . . .

Kraft, meanwhile, has been looking for alternate uses for its whey, a byproduct of cheese production. Since 1984, the company has been trucking the waste out to be spread on land. But New York has already banned land spreading of whey and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is becoming more restrictive of land application.

So city utilities director Don Quarford and Kraft got together to see if a mutually beneficial solution could be worked out. They believe they have one.

The city would build a high strength pre-treatment system as part of its upgrade. This system would take in Kraft’s whey and other wastewater and pre-treat it before it enters the main wastewater system.

This would eliminate approximately 90 percent of Kraft’s wasteloads entering the system, reducing the necessary size of the upgrade.

But the benefits wouldn’t stop there.

The pre-treatment plant would be capable of converting whey into biogas, which in turn could be used to fuel a pair of engine generators. These generators would create enough electricity to run the entire plant, and more. This alone would save the city approximately $250,000 a year.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

RENEW’s newsletter now online

Posted on May 1, 2009. Filed under: Coal, Energy Policy, General, Generation Plants, Solar, Wind |

The spring edition of RENEW’s newsletter includes the following articles:

Legislature to Tackle Wind Permitting
The Importance of Doing the Math
Stimulus Package 101
Policy Drives Solar Hot Water Market
PSC Investigates Renewable Tariffs
Open Letter from RENEW President

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Next Entries »


    A statewide nonprofit dedicated to promoting economically and environmentally sustainable energy policies and practices in Wisconsin.


    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS


Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...