REVISED May 12, 2009

Ed Blume

State snares federal dollars for renewable energy work
In the most recent round of federal renewable energy grants, Wisconsin led all states in capturing project dollars to address market and development challenges associated with wind energy.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that a Wisconsin non-profit organization and three post-secondary schools captured more than $1 million for projects to promote market acceptance and workforce development, two challenges identified in a 2008 DOE report.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive nearly $600,000, while the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will receive just over $300,000 and Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland, WI) a little less than $200,000.

“Our success in receiving these awards is a reflection of the State of Wisconsin’s strong commitment to expanding the wind energy marketplace here,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide renewable energy advocacy organization.

RENEW Wisconsin proposed in its grant application to develop a one-stop online source of information for wind developers, state and local policymakers and regulators, and the general public.

The web site will include documents and links to relevant state and federal statutes and rules, facts sheets on everything from aesthetics to court decisions, zoning, and other resources, as well as a calendar of upcoming workshops, seminars, training, briefings, grant opportunities, RFPs, and other relevant events and opportunities.

The other grants will promote workforce development. The UW-Madison will provide short courses in wind power plant design, construction and operations and develop curriculum to integrate wind energy systems curriculum into power engineering education programs; the UW-Milwaukee intends to create a wind energy educational collaborative in southeastern Wisconsin; and Lakeshore Technical College will develop additional partnerships to boosts its ongoing wind technician training programs.

DOE Awards in Market Acceptance:
• RENEW Wisconsin (Madison, WI) – Sowing the Seeds for a Bountiful Harvest: Shaping the Rules and Creating the Tools for Wisconsin’s Next Generation of Wind Farms – $93,348

DOE Awards in Workforce Development
• The Board of Regents of the UW System (Madison, WI) – A Continuing Education Short Course and Engineering Curriculum to Accelerate Workforce Development in Wind Power Plant Design, Construction, and Operations – $119,135
• Lakeshore Technical College (Cleveland, WI) – POWER – Purposeful Partnerships Coordinating Wind Education Resources – $199,236
• University of Wisconsin (Madison, WI) – Integration of Wind Energy Systems into Power Engineering Education Programs at UW-Madison – $399,931
• University Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI) – Southeast Wisconsin Wind Energy Educational Collaborative – $330,184

Full list of awards and DOE news release at

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