Wisconsin Governor Proposes $450 Million Public, Private Investment Strategy to Develop Renewable Energy

September 28, 2006

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle plans to grow bioindustry and renewable energy through a $450 million public and private investment strategy — including nearly $80 million from the state — in renewable fuel sources. The proposal is part of a broad effort to make Wisconsin the nation’s leader in energy independence and create 17,000 jobs in the state.

"Here in Wisconsin, we’re doing our part and setting an example for the nation in energy independence," Governor Doyle said. "This new state funding will encourage innovative new energy technologies across our state that will help the nation kick its addiction to oil. When it comes to our energy future, we should be more dependent on the Midwest, and less dependent on the Mideast." The plan includes:

  • Wisconsin Energy Independence Fund
    This fund will make $50 million in loan guarantees and low-interest loans available to Wisconsin businesses that want to expand the production and use of renewable fuels and energy. This investment will leverage more than $100 million in private sector support.
  • Wisconsin Energy Independence Tax Incentives
    Tax credits will be available for gas stations to invest in E85 and biodiesel tanks and pumps, which will increase the availability of E85 in the state by 400 pumps.
  • Wisconsin Energy Independence Grant Program
    Grants totaling $20 million will be available for companies and researchers who are developing new technologies to increase renewable fuels, speeding the commercialization of new renewable fuel and energy technologies, and leading the way to energy independence. This investment will leverage $240 million from private investors.

For more information about the proposal, read the governor's September 25 press release.

Four UW Campuses to Become Energy Independent

Governor Doyle kicked off the independence initiative by presenting $20,000 to the Madison Area Technical College to fund start-up costs associated with the development of the Northern Solar Testing and Certification Facility. He also announced that an additional $100,000 will be allocated for the facility’s completion.

As part of this plan, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, UW-River Falls, and UW-Stevens Point will take part in a pilot program to make their campuses completely energy independent within the next five years. These will be the first state-owned facilities that can acquire or produce renewable energy equivalent to their consumption. By conservative estimates, converting the four campuses to renewable fuels will save 260,000 tons of coal over a decade — equivalent to a 30 mile long train loaded with coal. It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 676,000 tons and save the taxpayers money by improving their energy efficiency.

For more information about the University of Wisconsin program, read the governor's September 27 press release.