July 25, 2007 | General

Renewable Electricity Soars In Wisconsin

BioCycle July 2007, Vol. 48, No. 7, p. 61
Action is a step to Governor’s goals to reach 25 percent of its annual energy needs for renewables by 2025.
Cheryl Rezabek

WHILE announcing its plans to purchase a minimum of 90,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable electricity, Wisconsin has become the largest state government purchaser in the nation as per the EPA Green Power Partners website. The action is one more step by the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) to meet Governor Jim Doyle’s Energy Independence goals to fulfill 25 percent of its energy needs from renewables by 2025.
“The state will create a stable market for renewable energy companies to help them get started and become competitive in the energy market,” Office of Energy Independence Director Judy Ziewacz says. “Encouraging new home-grown renewable energy production is a key to reaching the Governor’s Energy Independence goals and fighting global warming.”
Under the new Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Act (2005 Wisconsin Act 141), the six state agencies must purchase 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by December 2007 and 20 percent by 2011. “The new law calls on state government to lead by example,” Ziewacz explains. “The results will be good for the environment and good for the renewable energy economy.”
The six state agencies purchasing the renewable energy include the Department of Administration, Department of Corrections, Department of Health and Family Services, Department of Public Instruction, Department of Veterans Affairs and the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin. The request includes providing renewable electricity for the agencies’ offices, campuses and facilities across the state.
The state is requesting renewable energy contracts for at least 10 years for a minimum of 90,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy by the end of 2007 and for up to 180,000 megawatt hours to meet the 20 percent goal by 2011. Renewable energy sources include wind power, solar power, energy from biomass and geothermal technologies.
Cheryl Rezabek is with Conserve Wisconsin’s Bureau of Operations Management in Madison. Her e-mail is

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