Immediate release: July 18, 2012
Director, Program and Policy
608.255.4044, ext. 2,
Two-turbine project sets a number of firsts for Wisconsin
A vision of Wisconsin’s renewable energy future came to life with the dedication today of the two-turbine Cashton Greens Wind Farm, Wisconsin‘s first community wind development. This five megawatt project rises alongside Organic Valley Cooperative’s distribution center in this village 40 miles southeast of La Crosse.
Owned by La Farge-based Organic Valley Cooperative and Gunderson Lutheran Health System, La Crosse, Cashton Greens will generate enough electricity to offset the energy use for Organic Valley’s corporate headquarters and distribution center, as well as 5% of Gundersen Lutheran’s energy needs.
“This ground-breaking community wind project represents a number of firsts for Wisconsin,” said Michael Vickerman, director of programs and policies for RENEW Wisconsin, a renewable energy advocacy organization.
“Cashton Greens is both Wisconsin’s largest customer-owned renewable energy installation and the largest ever to receive a grant from Focus on Energy, the state’s energy efficiency and renewable energy program,” Vickerman said.
It is also the first wind project permitted following the enactment of Wisconsin’s three-year-old wind siting law (2009 Act 40).
The Village of Cashton approved the project in June 2010.
“RENEW and all of our members salute the team of Organic Valley, Gundersen
Lutheran, and the village of Cashton for their audacious commitment to energy independence,”
said Vickerman. “They are plowing ground that will result in new renewable energy systems supporting Wisconsin’s economic vitality while protecting its environmental health.”
“This project clearly shows that Wisconsin energy customers are eager to move forward to reduce their use of fossil fuels. Rather than wait for their utilities to act, many of them are now taking the initiative and installing systems to supply their own businesses and residences with clean renewable energy produced,” he said.
Organic Valley is America’s largest cooperative of organic farmers and one of the nation’s leading organic brands. Gundersen Health System provides health services to its patients at is hospital and clinics throughout west Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota, and northeast Iowa.
RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that leads and represents businesses, organizations, and individuals who seek more clean renewable energy in Wisconsin. More information on RENEW’s Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org.