PSC: Issues Strategic Energy Assessment

MADISON – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) today approved its Strategic Energy Assessment Report: Energy 2016 (SEA).

The PSC prepares an SEA every two years to evaluate the state’s current and future energy demands, how those demands will be met, and the reliability of the electrical system over the next seven years. The report is based on data and information collected from Wisconsin utilities and power cooperatives.

Among several conclusions found in the SEA are:

* The recent economic downturn has translated into lower peak demand growth. While the state’s utilities put 2010 peak demand growth at 2.75 percent, the projection falls in years 2011 to 2016 to approximately 1.00 percent per year.

* The increased presence of renewable projects in Wisconsin continues to change generation mix proportions in the state.

* Despite the added renewable energy in Wisconsin’s generation mix, Wisconsin continues to be heavily reliant on coal as its primary energy source in actual energy generation.

* Wisconsin now has a comfortable planning reserve margin. Adequacy and reliability are expected to remain robust, with a planning reserve margin forecast through 2016 above 15 percent.

* The Commission’s recent reduction of the reserve margin requirements will allow margins to come down in the near future. Excess reserves may increase the opportunity for Wisconsin utilities to export power in the regional market. While this market is still evolving, the opportunity exists for excess generation sales to benefit ratepayers.

* While Wisconsin is enjoying sufficient capacity, the other half of the power picture – moving from the generation source to customers – in an ongoing challenge. The Commission is currently participating in multiple regional transmission studies that explore not only possible future transmission scenarios, but how the cost may be shared across states the lines cross.

* Energy rates in Wisconsin and the Midwest are likely to continue to increase in the near future. However, proactive consumers can mitigate the bill impacts from rate pressure through energy efficiency and conservation measures.

* Wisconsin is well on its way towards achieving 10 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. All Wisconsin electric providers and aggregators remain Renewable Portfolio Standard compliant.

The Strategic Energy Assessment Report: Energy 2016, can be found on the PSC website at

A printed copy of the report can be provided to you upon request. Please call (800)358-9246 or contact Amy Pepin by email at: [email protected].