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Dane County Office of Energy & Climate Change

The Climate Challenge Is Also an Opportunity

Joe Parisi and Dan fill a Ho Chunk vehcile at the county's RNG station
County Executive Joe Parisi and Dan Brown, Executive Manager of Ho-Chunk Gaming Madison, fuel a Ho-Chunk vehicle at one of Dane County's Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) fueling stations.
Dane County's RNG facility is a great example of how we can leverage climate challenges into economic and environmental opportunities that benefit everyone in Dane County. By transforming landfill gas into RNG, Dane County provides a low-emission and low cost fuel for heavy-duty vehicles. 

Dane County is a special place. We are home to innovative biotech companies as well as 100s of miles of hiking and biking trails on 12,000 acres of public land. While our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are significant, we know we can eliminate those emissions. After all, in addition to 500,000 people and 55,000 cows, we've got a world-class university, hundreds of thousands of people who are concerned about climate change, and Dane County’s leadership that is committed to meaningful action on climate change.

All that momentum enables us to see the opportunities in addressing climate change. When we reduce our emissions we create opportuities for a stronger, more prosperous Dane County. By ending waste and embracing clean energy we can:

  • Increase the County’s commitment to equity and justice

  • Deliver economic benefits to all parties

  • Improve health and wellness of all residents

  • Increase our ability to adapt and be resilient to a changing climate

  • Bridge the rural and urban divide, creating solutions that work for everyone in the county

  • Enhance our natural environments, delivering ecosystem benefits

Indeed, we’re already hard at work on this vision. With input from hundreds of entities across Dane County, we are creating a Climate Action Plan that maps our path to a better future.
 

We Are Already Leading on Innovation

In Dane County we don’t just talk about climate change, we get things done. Over the last few years Dane County has invested in numerous clean energy projects--solar electric systems on County buildings as well as our innovative landfill project--and we have also implemented conservation projects to reduce the risk of flooding and preserve natural areas. You can learn more about these projects via our interactive map.

Map of Dane County showing solar installations

In additon to county installations the map includes clean energy projects at local governments, schools, businesses and nonprofits. In total there are more than 150 clean energy projects featured on the map. If you have a clean energy project that belongs on the map, tell us about it.

To learn even more about the landfill project where we're producing Renewable Natural Gas, check out this short video.

 

 

We Are Getting Recognition for our Leadership Too

Recognizing Dane County's efforts to green our operations and to facilitate broader action, RENEW Wisconsin named Dane County the 2020 Renewable Energy Pioneer of the Year. In the short video below RENEW staff talk about why they gave Dane County this award.

After completing the airport solar project, Dane County joined the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partners program. The EPA program recognizes businesses and local governments that are leading on using renewable electricity for their operatons. In 2021 Dane County will get 45% of the electricity it uses for its operations from renewable energy sources. And we are on track to get all of the electricity for our operations from renewable sources by 2025. 

EPA Green Power Partner logo

We encourage other entities in Dane County to check out the EPA Green Power Partners program too.

The County has long focused on reducing emissions in its own operations and now, with the Climate Action Plan, we’re addressing countywide emissions.

Learn more about our climate initiatives.

 

Let’s Do This

Join Dane County's efforts to reduce emissions and inspire others to follow our lead.

 

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