Renewable Energy Champions & Standout Projects Set to Receive Honors at RENEW’s 2018 Summit

Renewable Energy Champions & Standout Projects Set to Receive Honors at RENEW’s 2018 Summit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 11, 2018

CONTACT:
Tyler Huebner
tyler.huebner@renewwisconsin.org
(608) 255-4044 x1

RENEW’s seventh annual Renewable Energy Summit, set for January 18, 2018, will furnish the occasion for recognizing the leading lights in Wisconsin’s renewable energy industry and spotlighting the developments that made 2017 such a stellar year. Titled “Connecting to a Powerful Future,” RENEW’s Summit will take place at Monona Terrace in Madison; registration starts at 8:00 AM and the program runs from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM. The recognition ceremony will begin at 2:00 PM.

Last year saw the first large-scale wind power plant go up in Wisconsin since 2011. Quilt Block, a 49-turbine, 98-megawatt (MW) project developed by Houston-based EDP Renewables is now online, producing power under contract to La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative, whose four-state service area includes 18 member cooperatives and 10 municipal utilities in Wisconsin.

Representing a capital investment of $167 million, EDP’s Quilt Block project will produce enough renewable electricity to power more than 25,000 Wisconsin residences while providing millions of dollars in local aids to the Town of Seymour and Lafayette County, as well as lease payments to participating landowners over the plant’s operating life.

At the Summit, RENEW will honor Quilt Block Wind Farm as Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Project of the Year. Recognizing the strong collaboration forged by project participants, RENEW will present plaques to representatives of the developer (EDP Renewables), the utility purchaser (Dairyland Power Cooperative), local governments (Town of Seymour, Lafayette County), and participating landowners.

Last year marked the emergence of RENEW Wisconsin’s Solar for Good, a program that provides grants to nonprofit institutions that seek to install solar electric systems on their buildings. Initiated by donations from Deerfield-based philanthropists Cal and Laurie Couillard, Solar for Good awarded 16 grants in 2017 supporting the installation of 573 kilowatts (kW) of new solar electric projects to serve such entities as public charter schools, food pantries, houses of worship, and nursing care facilities.

For their philanthropy that made possible the Solar for Good program, Cal and Laurie Couillard will receive honors as Renewable Energy Champions.

Also set to receive honors as Renewable Energy Champions are John and Mary Frantz, both retired physicians and long-time renewable energy advocates now living in Madison who have been generous supporters of RENEW Wisconsin’s work to expand renewable energy.  In recent years, their generosity has taken the form of providing matching donations to “Ride with RENEW,” a fundraising event held in autumn featuring bicycle tours of noteworthy renewable energy projects in Wisconsin.

The recognition segment will also draw attention to other milestones and notable achievements in 2017, including the following:

  • All 15 solar arrays built by SoCore Energy (Illinois) and GroSolar (Vermont) under contract to Dairyland Power are now producing electricity. Three of the arrays, located in New Auburn, Phillips, and Roberts, are the state’s largest in operation. 
  • Xcel Energy’s Wisconsin utility commissioned a 1 megawatt (MW) array in Eau Claire, which now supplies energy to its shared solar subscribers. 
  • SunPeak designed and built the state’s largest rooftop solar electric system in operation, a 1.2 MW array atop the American Family Insurance headquarters building in Madison.
  • Eagle Point Solar installed 350 kilowatts (kW) of solar generation atop two schools in the Northland Pines School District, which now has more solar capacity than any other K-12 district in Wisconsin. 
  • SunVest Solar and Current Electric teamed up to design and install 800 kW of solar capacity on six rooftops in the Oneida Nation reservation in Brown County.
  • Contractors partnered with local nonprofits to launch five residential group solar purchase programs across Wisconsin. Together these initiatives result in 158 installations totaling nearly 1,000 kW of new solar capacity.

“These award winners and honorable projects deserve recognition for the benefits they are bringing Wisconsin’s people and economy,” said Tyler Huebner, RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director.  “These honorees are leading the way towards a clean, vibrant, and self-sustaining Wisconsin energy future.”

For more information on the 2018 Summit program agenda, speakers, and registration, please visit http://www.renewwisconsin.org/2018_Summit/index.html.

###

RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization dedicated to renewable energy in Wisconsin. We advance and defend policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information is available on RENEW’s Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org.  

Jim Boullion Named RENEW Wisconsin’s  Director of Government Affairs

Jim Boullion Named RENEW Wisconsin’s Director of Government Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 9, 2018
Jim Boullion Named RENEW Wisconsin’s Director of Government Affairs
MADISON
– Renew Wisconsin’s Executive Director Tyler Huebner has named Jim Boullion as
Director of Government Affairs to lead the organization’s policy and advocacy
efforts in Madison.



Jim brings us years of
experience in Wisconsin politics and a broad network of relationships with
utilities, business, labor and other politically active organizations that are
critically important in our efforts to advance renewable energy in Wisconsin.”
Huebner said.


In his new role, Boullion will be working on state and federal
issues to increase the utilization of Wisconsin generated renewable energy that
will power a strong, healthy and vibrant Wisconsin through lower energy costs,
increased energy security and stable, good paying jobs.


“I joined RENEW because of its leadership role in the
exciting changes that are happening in the renewable sectors of the energy
industry. Renewable energy technology and pricing has reached a tipping point
where it is becoming a mainstream and critical component of our energy mix, now
and in the future.” commented Boullion.


Jim is a life-long resident of Wisconsin and attended the
University of Wisconsin – Madison.  He
has served as Director of Government Affairs for various trade associations in
Wisconsin over the past 25 years, including 16 years with the Associated
General Contractors. He is a Past President of the Association of
Wisconsin Lobbyists, worked in the Wisconsin State Assembly for 9 years and
served in Governor Walker’s administration as Administrator of the Division of
Policy
Development in the Department of Safety and
Professional Services.
RENEW Wisconsin is
a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing renewable energy in Wisconsin.
We work on policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas,
local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information is available on
RENEW’s website: 
www.renewwisconsin.org


###





MEDIA CONTACTS:
Tyler Huebner
(608) 255-4044 x1
  
Jim Boullion

(608) 255-4044 x4
National Leaders & Wisconsin Executives to Headline January Renewable Energy Summit

National Leaders & Wisconsin Executives to Headline January Renewable Energy Summit

Immediate release                                                   
December 19, 2017                                               


More information     
Tyler
Huebner, Executive Director
608.255.4044 x 1                                                                                    
tyler.huebner@renewwisconsin.org                                                                                  


National Leaders & Wisconsin Executives to Headline January
Renewable Energy Summit

RENEW Wisconsin will host
its seventh annual Renewable Energy Summit on Thursday, January 18th, 2018, at Monona
Terrace in Madison. The theme of the event, “Connecting to a Powerful Future,” will highlight the
significant expansion of renewable power underway in Wisconsin, both at the
customer and utility level, and the need to broaden connections to continue
this momentum.


This one-day event will
feature two keynote speakers.


Abby Hopper
is the CEO of the national Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in
Washington, DC
.  The solar industry has grown at a 20% annual
clip the past five years as installation costs have declined rapidly. This is
creating great opportunities in up-and-coming markets like Wisconsin!  Abby oversees all of SEIA’s activities,
including government affairs, research, communications, and industry
leadership. SEIA is at the forefront of national solar advocacy, including the
recent Federal tax overhaul and import tariff threat.





Jane Bloch
is Principal at Tusculum Consulting
,
where she is a clean energy communications expert. She comes to our Summit to
share best practices on how to effectively communicate about clean energy with
different audiences.  She has spent the
last decade advancing clean energy policies through strategic communications,
stakeholder engagement, and philanthropic investment. Jane grew up spending her
summers in the Northwoods, near Minocqua, where she learned to love canoeing
and loon calls.




The event will begin with
a recap of 2017 and outlook to 2018 by RENEW Wisconsin’s Board Chair Amy Heart
and Executive Director Tyler Huebner. At 9:30am, three Wisconsin utility executives will participate in a panel
session discussing their companies’ investments and programs for renewable
energy such as wind, solar, and biogas.



WI Utility Executives Roundtable



The lunch panel will feature experts from Wisconsin’s renewable energy industry.
Driving Wisconsin’s Renewable Energy Markets





The program will feature
networking opportunities with exhibitors and attendees, as well as a social
hour following the close of the formal program.
Summit registration is open
and over 100 individuals and company representatives have already signed
up.  Rates are $125 for Members of RENEW
Wisconsin, $155 for non-members, $125 for government and non-profit employees,
and $35 for students and elected officials and their staff. Membership with
RENEW starts at $35 for individuals and $200 for businesses and organizations.
For more information on
the 2018 program agenda, speakers, and registration, please visit  
http://www.renewwisconsin.org/2018_Summit/index.html.
An impressive set of
corporate and organizational sponsors, showcased on the final page, have signed
up to attend.


RENEW
Wisconsin Summit Event Sponsors as-of December 18, 2017
   




-END-

RENEW
Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization which promotes renewable energy in
Wisconsin. We work on policies and programs that support solar power, wind
power, biogas, local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information is
available on RENEW’s website: 
www.renewwisconsin.org.   
Press Release: Solar for Good offers grants to 16 Wisconsin nonprofit organizations to install solar energy

Press Release: Solar for Good offers grants to 16 Wisconsin nonprofit organizations to install solar energy

Monday December 18, 2017, Madison.

For Immediate Release

For More Information
Katherine Klausing, RENEW Wisconsin
608-255-4044 x5
Katherine@renewwisconsin.org
http://renewwisconsin.org/action/SolarforGood.htm

RENEW Wisconsin’s Solar for Good program, funded by Deerfield-based philanthropists Cal and Laurie Couillard, will issue grants to 16 Wisconsin nonprofit organizations that seek to install solar electric systems on their buildings. The 16 grants would support a total of 573 kilowatts (kW) of new solar electric projects, planned for installation in 2018. The total value of all of the solar projects would exceed $1.2 million.

A diverse group of nonprofit organizations expects to receive the solar grants, including a food pantry in Verona, an organization that serves homeless veterans in Racine, and several houses of worship including a mosque, a synagogue, and a church. Each organization seeks to use its grant to install its own solar electric system, based on the energy needs of each facility.

“We know that the solar energy boom is having a positive impact on our Wisconsin communities” said Katherine Klausing, engagement manager at RENEW Wisconsin, a state-based renewable energy advocacy organization that administers Solar for Good. “That’s why we designed the program to help local nonprofit organizations and houses of worship, who are working every day to improve our communities, join the solar movement. Investing in solar panels means they can lower their operating costs, save money to reinvest in their missions, and align their energy dollars with their values.”

Solar for Good grants are designed to fund between 10 and 20 percent of the cost of each organization’s solar project. Organizations that have been offered the grants will have 12 months to raise the remaining funds needed and complete their solar installations. “We are thrilled that this grant program has the potential to leverage nearly 10 times its original value in solar installations,” Klausing added.

“The idea is that if we can install solar panels on churches and other nonprofits, then all the people that are going there will also see this happening. I want to spread the message that solar is not just green for the environment, it’s green monetarily. You can actually save money doing it. It pays for itself. And I want to get that word out because I don’t think a lot of people know it,” said program founder Cal Couillard.

Demand for solar energy grants far surpassed expectations. Solar for Good announced in October that it would award a total of $125,000 in grants. But when the application period closed on November 13, 23 organizations across Wisconsin had applied for over $220,000 in funding. Additional fundraising enabled the program to fund these 16 projects with over $142,000 in grants.

Solar for Good plans to issue another round of grant funding in spring 2018. Any individuals who wish to donate to the program can contribute at http://renewwisconsin.org/action/SolarforGood.htm

The following organizations have been offered Solar for Good grants and are now exploring fundraising and installation of solar electric systems:

Badger Prairie Needs Network, food pantry, Verona
Beth Israel Center, house of worship, Madison
Catholic Youth Expeditions, religious organization and retreat center, Baileys Harbor
Escuela Verde, public charter school, Milwaukee
First Congregational Church, house of worship, Oshkosh
Friends of Camp Anokijig, outdoor education program, Plymouth
Liberation Park, retreat center, Norwalk
Midwest Renewable Energy Association, education and training organization, Custer
North Pointe United Methodist Church, formerly known as Trinity United Methodist Church, house of worship, Racine
Pilgrim United Church of Christ, house of worship, Fond du Lac
Sinsinawa Dominicans, religious order and nursing care facility, Sinsinawa
United Unitarian Universalist Congregation, house of worship, Waukesha
Veterans Outreach of Wisconsin, transitional living facility for veterans, Racine

In addition, three of the recipients wish to remain anonymous at this time, including an affordable housing organization in Milwaukee, an organization serving low-income families in Madison, and a house of worship in Milwaukee.

About RENEW Wisconsin
RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization which promotes renewable energy in Wisconsin. We work on policies and programs that support solar power, wind power, biogas, local hydropower, and geothermal energy. More information is available on RENEW’s website: www.renewwisconsin.org

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Conservative Group Launches a New Voice for Clean Energy

Conservative Group Launches a New Voice for Clean Energy

A press conference was held yesterday at the State Capitol to announce the launch of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, a right-leaning, state-based voice for clean energy. 
Headlined by Former Governor Tommy Thompson as a Board Member, the group plans to articulate a positive narrative on clean energy, emphasizing its emergence as a cost-effective source of new jobs and business opportunities.
Scott Coenen, a former staff person for State Senator Howard Marklein, is the group’s Executive Director.
To learn more about this new effort, you can visit the organization’s web site and check out an interview published in Midwest Energy News.
As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Scott Coenen, the group’s new executive director, insisted the group would be focused not on lobbying for bills but on converting Republicans to the potential benefits — and jobs — coming from technologies such as solar and wind power.”

“Conservatives need to emphasize the development of cheap, reliable and cost-effective energy,” said Coenen, a former aide to GOP Sen. Howard Marklein of Spring Green. “To do that, we need to recognize that advances in technology increasingly mean renewable and alternative energy fits that description: cheap, reliable and cost-effective.”



‘Solar for Good’ Grant Program far Exceeds Expectations

‘Solar for Good’ Grant Program far Exceeds Expectations

‘Solar for Good’ grant program far exceeds expectations, seeks additional supporters to help Wisconsin nonprofit organizations “go solar”

Demand for a new program of solar energy grants for mission-based nonprofit organizations has far surpassed expectations, according to RENEW Wisconsin, a state-based renewable energy advocacy organization. As a result, the program’s funders and organizers are seeking additional contributors to provide funding for all qualifying nonprofit organizations who applied.


Business owners Cal and Laurie Couillard of Deerfield conceived of and seed-funded the program, called Solar for Good, which was designed and administered by RENEW Wisconsin. (See “Wisconsin Businessman Creates Fund to Help Nonprofits Go Solar” from WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio.)


Solar for Good announced in October that it would award a total of $125,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations and houses of worship to provide them with up to 20% of the cost of installing solar electric systems.


But demand for the grants exceeded organizers’ expectations. When the application period closed on November 13th, 23 organizations across Wisconsin had applied for over $222,000 to support their solar projects, leaving a gap of $97,000 that the program seeks to raise from other donors.


If all of the grant requests were funded, the program would support over 1,100 kilowatts of solar installations worth $2,400,000.


“The initial contribution has the potential to leverage 20 times its original value in solar installations,” said Tyler Huebner, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin. “The fund was started by a single family, but with the level of interest we’ve seen, the dream is that we would grow this initiative to support all 23 of the projects. If there are other philanthropists out there who care about renewable energy and want to invest in local community organizations, we encourage them to reach out to RENEW Wisconsin and consider donating.”


A diverse group of nonprofit organizations applied for the solar grants, including a food pantry near Madison, an organization that serves homeless veterans in Racine, and several houses of worship including a mosque, a synagogue, and many churches. The applicants were asked to demonstrate their ability to serve social justice, low income, educational, or other mission-driven purposes, as well as demonstrate their ability to raise the remaining funds and educate their memberships and communities about solar energy when the projects are complete.


With solar installation costs falling dramatically and public enthusiasm on the rise, more and more people and businesses have installed solar in recent years, and the program seeks to expand the benefits of solar to not-for-profit organizations. By installing their own solar PV systems, these organizations will be able to generate their own clean, renewable energy, save money on their utility bills, and reinvest the energy cost savings back into their work.


“The idea is that if we can install solar panels on churches and other nonprofits, then all the people that are going there will also see this happening. I want to spread the message that solar is not just green for the environment, it’s green monetarily. You can actually save money doing it. It pays for itself. And I want to get that word out because I don’t think a lot of people know it,” said program founder Cal Couillard.


How to donate
Individuals can learn more and donate at
http://renewwisconsin.org/action/SolarforGoodDonation.htmhttp://renewwisconsin.org/action/SolarforGoodDonation.htm


To make a larger donation, please contact Tyler Huebner at RENEW Wisconsin: tyler.huebner@renewwisconsin.org or 608-255- 4044 extension 1.