The University of Wisconsin (UW-River Falls), River Falls Municipal Utilities (RFMU) and Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI) have signed a memorandum of understanding outlining their intentions to develop renewable energy and energy conservation programs, projects and educational activities within the community of River Falls.
UW-River Falls will work with RFMU to explore energy independence options, including purchasing energy generated by renewable resources, such as wind, biofuel and hydroelectric power; increasing efforts to identify conservation opportunities and reduce overall energy consumption on campus; and developing renewable energy projects on campus.
The collaborative effort was sparked in September 2006, when Gov. Jim Doyle, D-Wis., selected the UW-River Falls campus as one of four UW schools that will participate in his Off-the-Grid Initiative, which sets a goal of achieving energy independence within five years through the use of innovative energy generation methods and the purchase of green energy provided by local utilities.
In support of the university's efforts, the utilities jointly provided $20,000 for construction of an information kiosk in the school's University Center, which incorporates green building principles in its design and construction. In addition, WPPI will designate up to $90,000 for the purpose of identifying energy conservation projects at UW-River Falls through the Energy Center of Wisconsin, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving energy sustainability through innovative research and education.