Gundersen Lutheran on the road to energy independence - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse, WI

Gundersen Lutheran on the road to energy independence

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW)- Gundersen Lutheran is one step closer to becoming energy independent thanks to the La Crosse City Brewery.

"People in the La Crosse community have seen these flares for many years and we approached City Brewery and said this would be a unique partnership and a wonderful partnership to capture this waste methane, waste energy, going right now and just being released," says Corey Zarecki, efficiency improvement leader at Gundersen Lutheran.

The combined heat and power project is located on the City Brewery's Property.

Waste methane gas discharged from the Brewery's waste treatment process is being turned into electricity. The process is expected to generate three million Kilowatt hours per year.

"We're gonna be generating electricity and putting that to the grid as clean renewable energy source," says Corey Zarecki.  

The project is expected to generate 8 to 10 percent of the energy used at Gundersen Lutheran's La Crosse and Onlaska facilities. That is enough electricity need to power 280 homes.

"We've noticed as others have, electricity and energy bills have been going up the last five years and if we did nothing to reduce or offset energy our energy bills would go up about 350 thousand dollars," says Zarecki.

By reducing energy bills at Gundersen they're hoping to eventually reduce patients' cost of care.

For now Gundersen is looking to reduce energy use by 20-percent before the end of 2009 and they say they are well on their way to the road of energy independence.

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