From a media release issued by Governor Doyle:

MADISON – Governor Doyle announced today a major investment in Wisconsin communities working toward energy independence and a clean energy future. To assist local efforts, Governor Doyle awarded over $400,000 in grants to 23 community groups working to create a “25×25” Plan to meet the Governor’s goal of generating 25 percent of the state’s electricity and transportation fuels from renewable resources by the year 2025.

“Wisconsin Energy Independent Communities are critical leaders in the state’s efforts to clean our air and water, create jobs, and save money for our communities,” Governor Doyle said. “I am confident that this investment will help create a clean energy roadmap that will boost energy efficiency, expand renewable energy use, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and save taxpayers money.”

The Wisconsin Energy Independent Community Partnership is the first of its kind in the nation and is an integral part of Governor Doyle’s ambitious goal for the state to become the nation’s leader in the drive toward energy independence. The partnership includes counties, cities, villages, towns, tribes, and schools in the state that have committed to Governor Doyle’s “25×25” challenge. Currently, there are over 70 communities committed to Governor Doyle’s challenge, with over 250 more communities interested in participating.

The 2009 Wisconsin Energy Independent Community Partnership pilot communities are: Brown County, Oneida Tribe, City of Washburn, City of Ashland, City of Bayfield, Town of La Pointe, Town of Bayfield, Ashland County, Bayfield County, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Village of Osceola, Osceola School District, City of Marshfield, City of Columbus, City of Evansville, City of Platteville, City of Lancaster, the City of Oconomowoc, Town of Fairfield, Village of Spring Green, Town of Spring Green, and the River Valley School District.

More from an article by Kyle Weaver in the Country Messenger (Scandia, MN):

“I think it’s recognition of where we’ve been and where we’re going with the school,” said Osceola School Board President Timm Johnson during a short interview. “It just puts us in a really good position to address our energy use.”

Johnson said the grant should allow both the Village and the school system access to professional services to audit their energy consumption in publicly-owned buildings as well as opportunities to explore new programs, such as encouraging production and consumption of more locally grown foods.