Wisconsin

Cascade, Wisconsin Wastewater Plant Powered by Wind Energy

With the start-up of two 100-kilowatt (kW) wind turbines, the Village of Cascade became the first Wisconsin community to power its municipal wastewater treatment plant with 100 percent locally produced wind energy.

The impetus behind Cascade's embrace of wind power was the avoided utility expenditures associated with operating a wastewater treatment plant. In the first year of operation, Cascade stands to save $30,000. With anticipated increases in electric rates, the Village of Cascade should save more than one million dollars over the thirty-year life of the turbines. Additional revenue will come from the sale of excess power to We Energies.

“With these two turbines, the Village of Cascade has taken a giant step toward energy independence,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin. “Its prudent investment in wind energy will enable the community to control its energy budget, saving money for current and future residents.”

Kettle View Renewable Energy, LLC, a wind system installer located in nearby Random Lake, installed and commissioned Cascade's turbines. “We are proud that our local efforts on this project made this the first net-zero wastewater treatment plant in Wisconsin,” said Kettle View Renewable Energy project manager Randy Faller. “It speaks volumes to the commitment by the Village of Cascade to generate clean, domestic energy while saving their community money.”

Northern Power Systems, the Vermont turbine manufacturer, “couldn't be more pleased that our technologically advanced, American-made Northwind 100 turbines are delivering real energy solutions for municipalities, schools, businesses and farms across Wisconsin,” said Brett Pingree, vice president of Americas at Northern Power Systems.

Grants from Milwaukee-based We Energies and Focus on Energy were instrumental in supplementing Cascade's investment in the project.

Environmental Assessments in the Great Lakes Region Webinar

This webinar was hosted by Windustry with support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on May 18, 2010. The webinar provided a discussion of discuss environmental assessments for land-based wind energy development in and near communities along the Great Lakes.

Presenters for the webinar included:

  • David Stout, Chairman of the Wind Turbine Guidelines Advisory Committee, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Charles McKeown, Renewable Energy Policy Program Manager, MSU Land Policy Institute
  • Michael D. Ernst, Esq., Director, Regulatory Affairs, Tetra Tech

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Download slides from the webinar:

 

The Environmental Assessments in the Great Lakes Region webinar and slides are copyrighted by their respective owners and may not be distributed in any format without the explicit written permission of the copyright owners.

Meeting on Great Lakes Regional Wind Energy

The Meeting on Great Lakes Regional Wind Energy was held on March 1-2, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attendees heard presentations on a variety of topics, including: transmission planning and strategy for the great lakes region, wind project economics, renewable energy credit markets and state renewable portfolio standards, and challenges and opportunities in siting wind projects. Please see below for the agenda and archived presentations.

Presentations

Transmission Planning and Strategy Panel:

State Updates:

Update from the Great Lakes Commission, Victoria Pebbles, Great Lakes Commission

Wind Energy Project Economics Panel:

Regional REC and RPS Best Practices, Jennifer Alvarado, Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association

Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, Jesse Heier, Midwestern Governer's Association

Wind Energy Siting: Challenges and Opportunities:

Great Lakes Regional Wind Resources 2009

The Updates on Great Lakes Regional Wind Energy Resources were presented  February 23-24th, 2009 in Columbus, OH. Attendees and wind energy experts discussed the mid-size turbine market, comparative economics, how renewable translate into rates, integrating wind into the grid, and Wind Working Groups.

Presentations


Workforce Opportunities in Ohio’s Wind Industry
Emily Amato, Cuyahoga Community College,
Ohio Wind Working Group
AWEA Policy Update
Jeff Anthony, American Wind Energy Association
Landowner Options and Legal Issues in Wind Lease Agreements
Lisa Daniels, Windustry
Wind Turbine Supply Chain
Matt Garran, Great Lakes WIND Network
Great Lakes Wind Collaborative Overview & Update
John Hummer, Great Lakes Commission
Economic Policy Panel “Fuel Price Forecasts”
Ron Lehr, Consulting Attorney
10 FAQ’s About Wind Energy Integration…and Answers
Michael Milligan, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Ohio’s Offshore Permitting Experience
David E. Nash, McMahon DeGulis
Renewable and Conventional Energy Generation:
Capacity and Costs

Ric O'Connell, Black & Veatch

Minnesota Transmission Line to Carry Wind Energy

ST. PAUL, MN, April 16, 2009 — The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MN PUC) has granted the CapX2020 utilities a Certificate of Need to construct three 345-kilovolt electric transmission lines in Minnesota. The three lines will run from Fargo, SD to Monticello, MN; from Hampton, MN  through Rochester, MN to La Crosse, WI; and from Brookings, SD to Hampton, MN.


CapX2020 is a joint project of 11 transmission-owning utilities in Minnesota and the surrounding region led by Great River Energy and Xcel Energy to expand the electric transmission grid. "Today's decision provides direction for new transmission that will ensure customers in and near Minnesota will continue to receive reliable electricity and help provide capacity to meet the nation's most aggressive renewable energy standard," said Terry Grove of Great River Energy.As part of its decision the MN PUC required that 700 megawatts of capacity on the Brookings-Hampton line to be reserved for renewable energy, which will allow electricity generated by wind farms in the Buffalo Ridge area of southwestern Minnesota to be transmitted to the Twin Cities area. Moreover, all will be capable for double circuit transmission lines to allow for increased capacity over time.

Some environmentalists opposed the certificate of need, and other critics were concerned that the transmission lines favor existing large power plants over smaller renewable energy sources that would benefit from a different transmission grid infrastructure that was more widely distributed. The MN PUC decision was a compromise between the various propronents and opponents of the project, and it will have an impact on the ability to connect wind farms to the transmission grid in the Midwest.

“It's clear that significant transmission will be needed to reach Minnesota's Renewable Energy Standard,” commented Beth Soholt, director of Wind on the Wires, “and the Commission took an important step in granting the utilities the ability to construct the pieces of the transmission system that will deliver renewables to Minnesotans.”

The MN PUC has yet to decide on the lines’ routes, with Route Permit applications currently under state review or in development, and decisions are expected in 2010. Regulatory processes are still pending for line segments in Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota; while an additional transmission line has been proposed between Bemidji and Grand Rapids. Construction of the lines could begin in 2012 and take several years to complete.

Webinar: Landowner Options Wind Energy in Great Lakes Region

 Webinar:  Landowner Options Wind Energy- October 11, 2007

 

Links to webinar materials:

  • Wind Energy: Landowner Options - This presentation covers the different options landowners have for participating in wind energy, with much of the presentation devoted to best practices and tips for leasing your land to a wind developer.
  • Using a Dispersed Strategy in Your Region - This presentation covers the basics of transmission and distribution and how to use transmission maps and tables.

We invite you to use these slides for your own meetings and presentations.

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