PSC: Wisconsin electric providers continue progress on renewable energy

Contact: John Shenot, (608) 266-9600

MADISON – Two reports released today by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) indicate that Wisconsin’s electric utilities and cooperatives continue to make steady progress in adding renewable energy to the state’s energy supplies. All of the electric providers meet or exceed state requirements and many offer incentives to customers who want to generate their own renewable electricity.

Renewable Portfolio Standard Compliance

Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law requires retail electric providers to produce 6 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable resources by the year 2010, and 10 percent by 2015. Each year, Wisconsin utilities and cooperatives are required to report to the PSC their progress in meeting the renewable milestones. Today the PSC released the 2009 RPS Compliance Report which indicates:

* All 118 Wisconsin electric providers met their RPS requirement for 2009;

* 113 providers exceeded their requirements for the year, creating excess renewable resource credits that can be banked and used for compliance in future years; and,

* In 2009, 6.29 percent of the electricity sold by the state’s utilities and cooperatives was generated from renewable resources, up from 4.90 percent in 2008.

Distributed Renewable Generation

PSC also released a status report on its investigation into “advanced renewable tariffs,” a term used to describe long term contracts whereby utilities and cooperatives offer to purchase electricity at premium prices from customers who generate electricity from small, renewable systems such as solar panels. Highlights of the status report include:

* More than 30 of Wisconsin’s electric providers, representing about 90% of the state’s electricity market, have voluntarily offered this kind of incentive;

* Customers have responded by installing more than 10 MW of small, distributed capacity utilizing biogas (from manure digesters on farms), solar panels, and wind turbines; and,

* An additional 8.2 MW of generation capacity, mostly from biogas projects, is under construction and will soon be generating electricity.

“Wisconsin continues to be ahead of pace in meeting our renewable portfolio standard requirements,” said PSC Chairperson Eric Callisto. “And I’m proud that Wisconsin leads the Midwest in installed solar power capacity and leads the entire country in using farm biogas to generate electricity.”

Documents associated with the RPS compliance report and the advanced renewable tariff investigation can be viewed on the PSC’s Electronic Regulatory Filing System at For the RPS compliance report, type case number 5-GF-194 into the boxes provided on the PSC homepage, or click on the Electronic Regulatory Filing System button. For the advanced renewable tariff investigation, use case number 5-EI-148.