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Neenah Paper becomes No. 1 purchaser of renewable energy in Wisconsin
RENEW Wisconsin hailed Neenah Paper for voluntarily committing to buy nearly 11 million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity annually from Energy for Tomorrow, We Energies’ renewable energy subscription program.
“With this purchase Neenah Paper can rightfully lay claim to being the largest purchaser of renewable electricity in Wisconsin,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide nonprofit organization that promotes voluntary renewable energy purchases by businesses, individuals and government entities.
In one fell swoop, Neenah Paper’s purchase will expand the amount the amount of renewable electricity sold through Energy for Tomorrow by 20%. The amount of renewable electricity Neenah Paper is buying from We Energies could supply more than more than 1,300 Wisconsin homes. It more than triples the annual output from the two wind turbines the utility owns and operates along U.S. Highway 41 south of Fond du Lac.
“Neenah Paper’s purchase is a creative demonstration of how renewable energy can improve the corporate bottom line,” Vickerman said. “The modest premium Neenah Paper is paying allows it to offer several higher-priced brands of paper that is manufactured entirely with renewable electricity.”
“This is a persuasive demonstration of Neenah Paper’s environmental performance that customers can buy into,” said Vickerman.
Vickerman noted that two elements are needed to pull off a transaction of this magnitude: a willing purchaser and a high-quality renewable energy program that can verify all of the environmental benefits desired by the purchaser.
“Neenah Paper’s purchase validates the effort that We Energies has put into Energy for Tomorrow, which is now one of the premier renewable energy subscription programs in the country,” Vickerman said. “Because Energy for Tomorrow is a Green-e certified program,
Neenah Paper can be confident that all of the environmental benefits it seeks through this renewable energy purchase will in fact happen.”
Vickerman noted that several governmental entities, including the State of Wisconsin and the City of Madison, will soon be purchasing renewable electricity. The recently adopted Energy Efficiency and Renewables Law (2005 Act 141) commits the State of Wisconsin to source, by 2007, 10% of the electricity it uses from renewable energy sources. That percentage rises to 20% by 2011.
“Neenah Paper’s commitment heralds a period of steadily increasing growth in Wisconsin’s renewable energy marketplace,” Vickerman said.
Most Wisconsin businesses and homeowners can elect to purchase the electricity they use from renewable resources. The following lists each utility, the name of the renewable energy program, a contact person, and a phone number:
Alliant Energy, Second Nature, Janice Mathis (608)458-3952, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Evergreen, Craig Harmes (608) 788-4000, Madison Gas Electric, MGE Windpower, Laura Williams,(608)252-7131,We Energies, Energy for Tomorrow, Gary Evans (414)221-3553,Wisconsin Public Power, Inc., serving more than 40 municipal electric utilities, Mike Hodges (608)837-4566, Wisconsin Public Service Corporation, NatureWise, Chip Bircher, (920)433-5518.
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