UW Extension awarded $1M to assist with siting large-scale renewable energy projects

Solar panels

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.

The grant is part of $22 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act to improve planning, siting, and permitting processes for large-scale renewable energy and battery storage projects that are expanding exponentially nationwide. 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 Wisconsin project is called Renewable Energy Siting and Engagement for Tomorrow (RESET). 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.

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