November 18, 2022, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
This is the first of three workshops exploring the development of a circular bioeconomy ecosystem in which renewable and waste resources are used as raw materials, substituting biomass-based and recycled carbon for fossil carbon in energy and products. Developing these bio-based production chains and businesses could create jobs, help decarbonize Wisconsin industries, and promote statewide rural economic development.
Converting excess organic materials and waste into renewable natural gas could present an economic boost to many of Wisconsin's industries while keeping organic materials out of our waterways and improving surface and ground water quality.
Join us, either in-person or virtually, on Friday, Nov. 18 to help identify and explore the gaps and opportunities of renewable natural gas in Wisconsin and connect with other stakeholders of the bioeconomy. There is no cost to attend and breakfast and lunch will be provided.
- 9:00 am – Breakfast and networking
- 9:30 am – Welcome and introductions
- 9:50 am – Overview of anaerobic digestion and renewable natural gas (RNG)
- Rebecca Larson, Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering, UW–Madison
- 10:30 am – Focused conversation
- 10:50 am – Break
- 11:00 am – Emerging market trends for RNG
- Troy Runge, Patrick Walsh & Noreen Warren Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and Department Chair, UW–Madison
- 11:40 am – Q&A
- 11:45 am – Case studies
- RNG Strategy in Dane County – Allison Rathsack, Special Projects and Materials Manager, Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables
- Injection into Local Gas Distribution Network – Russell Laursen, Market Strategiest, WEC Energy Group
- Project Finance and Development Overview – Tim Baye, Professor of Business Development and State Energy Specialist, UW–Extension
- 12:30 pm – Lunch (Including Optional 20-minute Microgrid Tour)
- 1:15 pm – Focused conversation
- 1:35 pm – Future/Emerging technologies
- 2:20 pm – Break
- 2:30 pm – Where do we go from here? Group discussion
- 3:55 pm – Next steps and closing remarks
Professor of Business Development and State Energy Specialist, UW–Extension
Tim Baye is a professor of business development and a state energy specialist with the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Division of Extension. His research and educational programs serve energy industry executives, professionals, and policy leaders. He has over 30 years’ experience in industrial renewable energy projects and policy, in education, executive and advisory capacities. Baye has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and economics from UW–Green Bay, master’s degrees from Marquette University and the University of Kentucky, and conducted postgraduate work at the UW–Madison.
Vice President of Renewable Fuels, Entech Solutions
Jacob Feutz is the vice president of renewable fuels for EnTech Solutions and joined the organization in 2019. He is responsible for project development around our distributed energy initiatives as a form of renewable fuel, as well as for our sustainable fuels and future markets. He has more than 13 years of experience in electrical equipment manufacturing. Jacob earned a master of business administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the UW–Milwaukee.
Director of Biogas Systems and Research Development, UW–Oshkosh
Brian Langolf is the director of biogas systems and research development at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. He is responsible for technical oversight of biogas operations, conducting biogas research, and providing digester training and consulting services, and internal and external program outreach. Prior to managing UW–Oshkosh’s biogas systems, Langolf managed the university’s Environmental Research and Innovation Center from 2010 to 2014. He holds a master’s degree in microbiology from UW–Oshkosh.
Associate Professor of Biological Systems Engineering, UW–Madison
Rebecca Larson is an associate professor and Extension specialist in UW–Madison’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering. Her research interests include all areas of biological waste including manure management, handling and treatment of agricultural waste, diffuse source pollution, agricultural sustainability, and waste-to-energy technologies including biogas production from anaerobic digestion. Larson earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in biosystems and agricultural engineering from Michigan State University.
Market Strategist, WEC Energy Group
Russell Laursen is a market strategist for the WEC Energy Group. Laursen joined WEC in 2006 and has held a variety of positions enabling his unique mix of experience in natural gas/electric markets, regulatory affairs, and resource policy. Prior to assuming his current role, Laursen was a gas supply manager for six years during which he was responsible for ensuring an adequate transportation, commodity, and storage portfolio for WEC gas utilities and WEC gas-fired electric generation. Laursen earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Milwaukee School of Engineering and his master of business administration from UW–La Crosse.
Special Projects and Materials Manager, Dane County Department of Waste & Renewables
Allison Rathsack is Special Projects and Materials Manager at Dane County’s Department of Waste and Renewables. She holds a bachelors of civil engineering, with an environmental and geotechnical emphasis, from UW–Platteville. Allison has over seven years of in-depth solid waste experience and currently manages a variety of Dane County’s projects including their most notable start-up of a renewable natural gas facility that processes landfill gas into pipeline grade natural gas. Allison leads or collaborates on many other renewable energy or sustainability projects at Dane County.
Patrick Walsh & Noreen Warren Professor of Biological Systems Engineering and Department Chair, UW–Madison
Troy Runge is a professor and department chair of UW–Madison’s Department of Biological Systems Engineering where he performs research and teaches in the field of bioenergy. His research focuses on biorefinery systems that create the most value from biomass feedstocks and make both renewable fuels and materials. He is investigating diverse biomass processes to produce fiber for paper and sugar for ethanol by retrofitting pulp mills. Troy is a lignocellulose chemist by training and has pulp and paper science degrees including a bachelor’s from UW–Stevens Point and master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology.