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Dane County: U.S. Department of Energy grants Dane County $2.2 million for "Green Energy Dane Plan"
3/22/2010

Contact: Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved over $2.2 million in economic stimulus funds for county energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that will save taxpayer dollars, create green jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The county submitted its "Green Energy Dane Plan" to DOE last fall and just received notification the plan has been approved.

"Dane County has been a leader in implementing energy efficiency, renewable energy and green government programs," said County Executive Falk. "These economic recovery funds allows us to go a step further and make a major investment in energy solutions that will strengthen our economy by saving taxpayer dollars, creating local jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions."

The federal dollars will fund a number of projects to make more than 50-year old county buildings much more energy efficient and less costly to operate. That includes installing solar panels on the roof of the City-County building to help provide hot water. Energy-saving lighting and modern heating and cooling systems will also be purchased and the building’s vintage 1956 hot water system will be replaced with energy-efficient tanks. Solar panels will also be installed at various county facilities and Dane County will sell that solar-generated electricity back to local utilities.

"Dane County is committed to improving its energy efficiency and saving taxpayer dollars, " said Dane County Supervisor Matt Veldran, Chair of the County Board's Energy Task Force Committee. "These projects will lower energy bills while putting people back to work and improving the environment."

Included in the "Green Energy Dane Plan" is nearly $350,000 to conduct a feasibility study to explore the economic, job creation, and renewable energy potential of building a food waste digester plant. Waste food that now goes into the garbage or down kitchen disposals could one day generate up to $4-million in locally-produced green energy. Dane County is reviewing proposals from firms interested in doing the feasibility study and developing an initial site design. A company will be selected later this spring to perform the study.

The county estimates its "Green Energy Dane Plan" will save taxpayers nearly $300,000 a year by producing renewable energy and reducing energy use by over 1.8 million kilowatt hours and 75,000 therms annually. The energy savings projects are projected to create 20-25 good paying local jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.3 million pounds per year.

DOE's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program was funded for the first time by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and is providing $3.2 billion in total funding for the program to more than 2,300 cities, counties and states nationwide.
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