UW Extension awarded $1M to assist with siting large-scale renewable energy projects -engaging local communities in the process

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded UW–Madison Extension a grant for $1 million to support a coordinated, inclusive, and transparent process that engages communities in siting large-scale renewable energy projects across Wisconsin.

Six states were awarded a total of $10 million in the first round of the Renewable Energy Siting through Technical Engagement and Planning (R-STEP) program to develop and expand statewide initiatives that provide expertise, trainings, and technical resources to local governments and communities to assist them in planning for large-scale renewable energy developments. The project will be led by Sherrie Gruder, Extension Distinguished Sustainable Design Specialist & Energy Strategist, and Diane Mayerfeld, Extension Sustainable Agriculture Statewide Coordinator. “R-STEP will help us move Wisconsin to successful renewable energy development where all stakeholders benefit”, said Sherrie Gruder.

The grant supports a coalition of groups including Wisconsin Public Service Commission, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Land & Water, UW-Madison’s Office of Sustainability, Oneida Nation, Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, Wisconsin Towns Association, and Apex Clean Energy.