Focus on Energy: Announces grants for large renewable energy projects


Robyn Nowak

Hoffman York

(414) 225-9520

[email protected]

– Federal incentives along with grants for up to $500,000 are available to help businesses become more energy independent –

MADISON, Wis. (March 18, 2009) – In 2008 Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s energy efficiency and renewable energy initiative, awarded financial incentives totaling more than $2.5 million to help businesses statewide finance the installation of renewable energy systems. And in 2009, even more businesses will have the opportunity to become energy independent as Focus on Energy is offering special opportunity grants for up to $500,000 to support large renewable energy systems.

These grants, combined with the tax credits and other funding opportunities in the new American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was signed into law Feb. 17, 2009, should help to make significant renewable energy projects a reality for hundreds of Wisconsin businesses.

“We believe there is an emerging demand for renewable energy systems at a larger level,” said Don Wichert, renewable energy program director. “As concerns over the effects of fossil fuel based energy use, pollution and America’s dependence on energy from overseas increase, it is our hope Wisconsin businesses will take advantage of these grants – and the new federal incentives – to take control over their energy use.”

Available Focus on Energy Grants for Large Projects

Eligible businesses must submit grant proposals to Focus on Energy by May 27, 2009. Funds will be awarded for the following technologies:

* Solar Electric

Solar energy can be converted directly to electricity with photovoltaic (PV) cells. As light strikes the PV cell, it creates an electrical potential that generates a current of electricity. To implement solar electricity, businesses can use this grant for the installation of solar electric systems larger than 50 kilowatts (kW). The grant will award a maximum of $250,000.

* Solar Water Heating

The sun’s energy can be used to heat water for commercial and industrial applications. Businesses interested in implementing solar water heating can use this grant for the installation of solar water heating systems that offset more than 15,000 therms per year. The grant will award a maximum of $250,000.

* Wind Energy

The energy present in wind can be converted into electricity with a wind turbine. Wind passing over the turbine creates a rotary motion that turns an electric generator and creates electricity. This grant will provide financial support for the installation of commercially available wind energy systems larger than 100 kW. This grant will award a maximum of $250,000.

* Biogas/Landfill Gas/Biomass/Hydro

This grant will provide financial support for the installation of industrial/municipal and farm anaerobic digestion, landfill gas, biomass combustion and hydroelectric projects that generally cost $2 million to $5 million. These systems can help supply space heating, process heating, cooling and electricity. The grant will award a maximum of $500,000.

Available Federal Renewable Energy Funds

The combination of financial assistance from Focus on Energy and incentives from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act make renewable energy more attainable than ever. In fact, the intent of the federal incentives is to invigorate the renewable energy industry and provide enough capital over the next three years to eventually double domestic renewable energy capacity.

Good resources for information on these federal incentives are the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency Web site (, or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Web site ( Another good resource for following the allocation of funds to Wisconsin is the Office of Recovery and Reinvestment Web site (

Businesses Statewide Are Eligible

Focus on Energy’s opportunity grants are available for businesses that purchase their electricity and/or natural gas from utilities participating in the Focus on Energy Program. In addition to large projects eligible for these special opportunity grants, Focus offers financial incentives for smaller renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. To learn more about Focus on Energy, available financial incentives, or to get an application, call (800) 762-7077 or visit .

About Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Focus information, resources and financial incentives help to implement projects that otherwise would not be completed, or to complete projects sooner than scheduled. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment and control the state’s growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information, call (800) 762-7077 or visit .