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Friday, June 17th, 2005 -- 3:18 PM

The world?s largest and longest-running renewable energy fair is being held in Stevens Point this weekend. Katy Matthai (math?-eye) is the executive director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, she says around 17,000 people from all over the planet attended the event last year.

Through hundreds of exhibitors and workshops, MREA strives to teach people about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living; organizers want attendees to start thinking about where their electricity comes from.

"Everything from solar electric panels to organic gardening," Matthai explains of the broad range of interesting topics. "From introduction to workshops to advanced workshops. The Fair is designed for everyone."

Matthai says there are always cool innovations, including this year?s bio-diesel converters that allow you to run engines on french fry grease.

"If you have a diesel engine, you can convert it to run on bio-diesel. We have a number of converters that convert french fry grease into diesel."

While oil companies might not be excited about renewable energy, Matthai says her group has been helping others start similar fairs around the country.

"Oil companies... I would probably think they think we're pretty small potatoes. Little do they know we're a grassroots organization that is moving and moving and moving and gathering a lot of speed."

The Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair will run through Sunday at the ReNew the Earth Institute, 7-miles east of Stevens Point.

Feel free to contact us with questions and/or comments.