Wisconsin Manufacturing News

Briggs & Stratton receives grant for new power regeneration system; Cooper Power lands contract with We Energies; Germantown manufacturer honored by Rockwell; Business groups denounce Clean Energy Jobs Act

Briggs & Stratton receives grant for new power regeneration system

Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corp. has received a $203,800 grant to install a new power regenerating system that will recapture power lost during its engine and generator testing. By recovering the lost power, the company believes it will be able to save 1.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, saving roughly $104,000.

The grant to Briggs & Stratton was among $1.7 million in energy efficiency grants to six state companies announced by Gov. Jim Doyle. In total, the efficiency programs the six manufacturers are developing are expected to save roughly 12.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year and about 1.1 million therms of natural gas.

Briggs & Stratton was the only Milwaukee area manufacturer that was awarded one of the grants. The other companies that received grants include BPM Inc. of Peshtigo, Georgia-Pacific Consumer Products LP of Green Bay, Mercury Marine of Fond du Lac, Procter & Gamble of Green Bay, and Thilmany Papers of Kaukauna.

Cooper Power lands contract with We Energies

Waukesha-based Cooper Power Systems, a division of Cooper Industries Ltd., has signed a contract to supply We Energies with a large majority of the Wisconsin-based utility’s electrical transformer product needs through 2014.

Cooper Power Systems employs nearly 2,200 people at facilities throughout southeastern Wisconsin. We Energies has approximately 4,800 employees throughout its Southeastern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan service area.

“This agreement represents joint financial commitments from two major Wisconsin-based employers to help advance the economy of the state,” said Cooper Power Systems group president Mike Stoessl. “It’s a reflection of our efforts to work with We Energies to live up to our corporate commitment of ‘Energy Delivery Reinvented,’ to keep up with the electrical demands of the region, and to shape our new energy economy.”

Stoessl said that the agreement to supply We Energies with single-phase pole-mounted transformers, single-phase pad-mounted transformers, and, three-phase pad-mounted transformers is “not only good for our business, but special for our employees, many of whom are We Energies customers.”

Cooper Power Systems employs nearly 2,200 people at facilities throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.

“This agreement represents one of the many ways We Energies is providing more reliable electric power to our customers, strengthening the electrical energy infrastructure in Wisconsin, reducing our dependency on expensive imported power and continuing to improve the environment,” said Tom Wick, director of electric distribution asset management for We Energies. “We are proud to provide reliable energy for Wisconsin’s growing economy using Wisconsin manufactured equipment.”

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.


Germantown manufacturer honored by Rockwell

TecStar Mfg. Company, a division of the MGS Mfg. Group, has been awarded the 2009 Mechanical Supplier of the Year award by Rockwell Automation.

TecStar was honored for its ability to offer multiple services, including mold making, multishot injection molding, blow molding and secondary operations. It was also recognized for its 94 percent on-time delivery rate and its ability to handle technically transfer programs.

“TecStar’s technical capabilities and global footprint provide Rockwell Automation with a strategic partner who offers a competitive supply chain advantage,” said Matthew Sprader, Rockwell’s strategic sourcing commodity manager.

Business groups denounce Clean Energy Jobs Act

A coalition of 41 business groups, including 13 local chambers of commerce, is urging the Legislature to reject Gov. Jim Doyle’s Clean Energy Jobs Act.

The group refers to the proposed legislation as a “global warming bill.”

“It is increasingly clear that the costs associated with this legislation will be enormous, and the benefits will be nominal,” the groups wrote in a memo to lawmakers.

The coalition noted that efforts to “scale back” the bill would still keep the most expensive and economically harmful proposals in the bill. The memo specifically stated “the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and energy efficiency surtaxes will be tremendously expensive, and will result in double-digit increases for Wisconsin utility customers.”

The bill would increase energy taxes, place limits on low-carbon fuel, force 25 percent of electricity to be provided by renewable resources, impose California vehicle emission standards, and require other costly measures.

“Clearly the business community is united in opposing this bill,” said Scott Manley, director of environmental policy at Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC). “Businesses know that higher taxes and higher energy prices are a recipe for losing jobs, not creating them.” 

Last month, WMC presented lawmakers with more than 3,000 signatures from business executives and others calling for defeat of the bill.

The organizations signing on to the memo against the bill include the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), the Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce, the Racine Are Manufactures & Commerce, the West Bend Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as several statewide organizations such as the Independent Business Association, the Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.

To view a webcast video about Doyle’s defense of the bill and several Wisconsin company executives who are supporting the bill, click here.

To read a previous Milwaukee Biz Blog about how Wisconsin’s business community is divided about the bill, click here.


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