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Wisconsin gets $4 million federal stimulus dollars to add solar energy units

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Wisconsin is getting more than $4 million federal stimulus dollars to add solar energy units, and teach more people how to put them in.

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The Midwest Renewable Energy Association of Custer, near Stevens Point, is getting most of the money - $3.3 million to help train 200 solar instructors in five years.

The group will work with colleges and other groups in Wisconsin and five other Midwest states to improve the quality of instruction about solar heating, cooling, and electrical systems.

Also, Milwaukee is getting $650,000 stimulus dollars to increase the city's solar installers and to put in over 150 solar electric and thermal systems.

And Madison is getting $370,000 for a project called MadiSUN - which seeks to double solar usage over the next two years.

The group plans to install 200 hot water systems by the end of next year, with a goal of reducing greenhouses gases by 25 percent by 2011.

Gov. Jim Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett announced the grants yesterday in Madison and Milwaukee.

But their announcements were overshadowed by the news that Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton had pulled out of the race for governor.

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