Governor Doyle: Launches POWER Initiative with $225,000

Contact: Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Grant Program to Encourage Renewable Energy Use

“Promoting Our Wisconsin Energy Resources” (POWER) Will Include Programs to

Help Businesses, Local Governments, and Homeowners Utilize Renewable Energy

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.

“Wisconsin is leading the way in energy independence,” Governor Doyle said. “Our state has overhauled our energy policy to make a major new commitment to renewable fuels…our entrepreneurs are continually developing innovative ways to produce energy…and our businesses are investing in the new technologies. And as a result, we are growing our economy and reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, all while protecting our environment. The POWER Initiative is the next step to keep our momentum going, and continue to expand our use of renewable fuels.”

The POWER Initiative will include a number of new programs to help Wisconsin businesses, local governments, and even homeowners take advantage of renewable energy technologies. Today Governor Doyle announced that the 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.

This is part of a broad effort to make Wisconsin the nation’s leader in energy independence. Last week, Governor Doyle signed into law a major overhaul of Wisconsin energy policy – the Energy Efficiency and Renewables Act, which requires that by 2015, ten percent of the state’s electricity be from renewable sources. In addition, by 2011, the state will leverage its buying power to purchase 20 percent of our energy for the six largest state agencies from renewable sources.

“I want Wisconsin to lead the nation in clean energy production, growing an innovative new industry here that will not only help our country kick the oil addiction, but also create thousands of jobs for our citizens,” Governor Doyle said. “The rising cost of energy is affecting everyone in Wisconsin – and it is squeezing a lot of hardworking Wisconsin families. By promoting the use of renewable fuels we will reduce our energy costs, keep more of our energy dollars right here in Wisconsin, and grow our economy.”

Governor Doyle made the announcement at Granite Valley Forest Products in Marathon City, a company that with the help of Wisconsin Focus on Energy, the Center for Technology Transfer, and a $42,000 state grant, installed a state-of-the-art wood-fired boiler. The boiler uses wood byproduct to generate power, and is reducing their natural gas purchases by an estimated $220,000 a year.

Governor Doyle will be unveiling additional parts of the POWER Initiative in the coming days.