The University of Wisconsin-Madison will receive one of its largest grants ever to fund renewable energy research.

The $125 million grant will be used to open the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. Governor Jim Doyle helped unveil the plan on Tuesday, which he says will help the nation meet its growing need for alternative energy sources.

The state will spend about $54 million to build and staff the facility in Madison. UW System president Kevin Reilly says it marks a major achievement that will benefit the entire state.

The facility's main focus will be on turning switch grass, poplar trees, and other plants into fuel sources.

The US Department of Energy on Tuesday awarded $375 million overall for the Wisconsin facility, along with similar centers in California and Tennessee. 

AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (MP3 1:08)

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