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Dairies get tax credits to build wastewater, energy plant

Two Wisconsin dairies will receive $23 million in New Markets Tax Credits to build a new industrial wastewater treatment and energy plant outside of Richland Center, state officials announced Monday.

Wisconsin-based dairies Foremost Farms USA and Schreiber Foods both have milk processing plants in Richland Center. Faced with increased industrial waste output, the two companies teamed up to plan the new treatment plant, called Richland Center Renewable Energy, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, which is allocating the tax credits.

The planned facility is an anaerobic digester, meaning it uses microorganisms to convert milk processing byproducts to usable energy. The plant will generate up to 1.7 megawatts of renewable energy a year, enough to power about 1,200 homes, according to the release.

New Markets Tax Credits support economic development in limited-income areas. About 12 percent of Richland Center residents are at or below the federal poverty level, according to U.S. Census data.

Project completion is scheduled for fall 2012.

— Amy Karon

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