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Wis. cities get $20 million for energy projects

Three Wisconsin cities have received $20 million for energy efficiency projects and to train construction workers.

The U.S. Department of Energy grants will be spent on projects in Milwaukee, Madison and Racine. The three cities teamed with the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp., Madison, to apply for the grants. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included $452 million for energy-efficiency project grants, and local governments sent in applications totaling more than $3.5 billion.

The money is for projects to make houses and businesses more energy efficient through increased insulation and new furnaces, for example, said George Edgar, director of policy of the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corp. He said the Department of Energy has not yet said how the money will be divided between the three communities.

The three cities will release a request for qualifications to builders and use the process to certify companies to perform the work. The projects are subject to federal prevailing wage law, Edgar said.

The federal grant will also pay to train construction workers to do energy-efficiency projects, he said.

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