— Wisconsin's utility regulator is planning to spend
more money on energy projects in rural areas, including a
plan to help underwrite the use of systems that convert
cattle manure into electricity.
systems known as manure digesters also help farms manage
waste, which has become an increasingly controversial
issue in Wisconsin as the size of dairy farms grows, the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/2eA2a57
Public Service Commission officials said they're
considering spending up to $20 million on manure digester
technology, and will lead efforts to encourage other state
agencies to explore the equipment.
Kamp, an attorney with Midwest Environmental Advocates,
said she was cautiously optimistic about Thursday's
decision. But she emphasized that manure digesters do not,
themselves, strip nutrients such as phosphorus from
nutrients, a key source of fertilizer for crops, can spur
algae growth and harm aquatic habitats if used in excess.
of Wisconsin-Madison soil scientist Carrie Loboski said a
separate system should be put in place that would split
solids and liquids in manure, which would allow farmers to
manage their waste stream and keep excess nutrients from
being applied to their soil.
commission also voted Thursday to authorize at least $7.7
million in funding for solar, wind and geothermal projects
around the state that would keep a rebate program in place
for energy consumers.