Falk Announces “Green Energy Dane Plan"

Thursday, June 04, 2009

From an news release issued by Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk:

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today the county has compiled a list of projects that will both save taxpayer dollars and generate new sources of revenue to help fund vital county human services. The work will be paid for through a $2.26 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Dane County received under the federal stimulus legislation. . . .

Headlining the “Green Energy Dane Plan,” are a significant number of projects to make more than 50-year-old county facilities much more energy efficient and less costly to operate. These efforts include changing lighting and improving heating and cooling systems. The plan also calls for the installation of solar-photovoltaic systems (solar panels) at county facilities that will convert solar energy into electricity Dane County will sell to local utilities.

The “Green Energy Dane Plan” also includes using approximately $350,000 of the grant for a feasibility study to explore potential benefits of a facility to convert food waste into energy. The study will look at taking food waste from commercial sources and turning it into energy rich bio-gas. Early estimates indicate this could generate $2 to $4-million a year in revenue for the county.

“We’re converting trash at our landfill into millions in cash each year for taxpayers and moving forward with work to make money and energy from manure, so exploring the possible benefits of collecting all the waste food from our hospitals and restaurants just makes great economic and environmental sense,” Falk said.

Falk noted the county recently signed a ten-year contract with MG&E in which the utility pays the county $3-million each year for electricity generated at the landfill. This effort nets enough electricity to power 4,000 homes.