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Joe Friesen, Communications Assistant

RENEW Debuts Wisconsin Renewable Energy Map

Volunteer Joe Friesen started a “simple” task to organize basic information on Wisconsin’s wind farms. This task grew over time to become a database and map that documents the location of nearly every renewable energy generating system in the state. Highlighting over 1,300 installations that total more than 700 megawatts of renewable electricity, RENEW Wisconsin’s database has become the most comprehensive on-line compilation of in-state renewable energy systems.

Installations depicted on this on-line tool range from small customer-owned solar electric systems to the 162 MW Glacier Hills wind farm in Columbia County, the largest renewable energy installation in Wisconsin. The database also includes a county by county breakdown.

“The real power of this database is the ability to visually represent the data across Wisconsin,” said Friesen. “Being able to see the distribution of renewable energy systems from Racine to Ashland shows that these are proven technologies that play a critical role in Wisconsin’s energy mix.”

When Glacier Hills comes online this December, the combined output from Wisconsin’s commercial-scale wind farms will produce the equivalent energy needed to power 175,000 residences.

At 1,200 installations, more than 90% of RENEW’s database is comprised of solar electric systems placed on homes, churches, businesses and schools.

“The steady growth of small-scale renewables here is attributable to the state’s previous commitment to build a vibrant renewable energy marketplace,” Friesen said. “Unfortunately, the policies adopted years ago to accomplish that objective are now under attack from the Legislature and certain utilities. This is certain to result in a dramatic slowdown of renewable energy installation activity.”

“Legislators needn’t look any further than their own districts to see examples of renewable energy systems creating local jobs and contributing to Wisconsin’s energy security” Friesen said.

Individuals interested in helping should send details about their renewable energy installations to Joe Friesen. Pertinent details include: system capacity, name of installer, year of installation, and zip code of installation.

Joe Friesen’s volunteer work with RENEW is made possible through a program called Mennonite Voluntary Service. MVS is a nationwide program which seeks to match dedicated volunteers with deserving nonprofit organizations at a fraction of the cost of a normal full-time employee.


RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives. More information on RENEW’s Web site at