White House official in La Crosse
and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley toured the Gundersen Lutheran Health Facility in Onalaska and a small dairy farm in Vernon County. Gundersen Lutheran is working to become the first health care system in the nation to obtain energy independence by 2014. Through a partnership with La Crosse County, Gundersen uses biogas from a local landfill, piped to an engine on the Onalaska health care campus, for heat and electricity. The engine produces as much energy as the Onalaska campus consumes, making the multiple building healthcare campus 100-percent energy independent. Kind and Sutley then traveled to Vernon County where they visited a 45 kilowalt anaerobic digester located at a small dairy farm owned by Wayne Peters and his sons, Rory and Roger, in Chaseburg. The digester is currently selling renewable energy to Dairyland Power Cooperative. The 200-cow farm is unique because is represents the first small-scale use of a manure digester in the region.
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