Governor Jim Doyle was in Cashton Thursday to announce grants for three local companies that are developing renewable energy technology.
The monetary awards are just part of $15 million in state energy independence grants to be dispersed this year. Doyle, on the floor of Best Energies in Cashton, said that grant effort could make a big difference in Wisconsin: "if you just think of the billions and billions and billions of dollars that go to the Middle East, and if just a fraction of those dollars were circulating around in the Wisconsin economy, it would be a tremendous boost for us."
Doyle awarded $1 million to Best Energies, which is working on producing biodiesel from crude corn oil, which cannot be used as food. Innovate International in La Crosse received $135,000 to develop a product that will allow restaurants to use waste vegetable oil as fuel to heat water. Pabst Engineering and Manufacturing received $250,000 to further a bioreactor that makes biogas 75 to 90 percent faster than conventional anaerobic reactors. Doyle compared the coming challenge to convert Wisconsin to renewable energies with one from more than a century ago, saying it paid off then to turn Wisconsin into the dairy state