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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Report: Wis. must prep for greenhouse limits

From a story on WSAW-TV:

A new state report says Wisconsin utilities should meet the state's basic energy needs over the next five years without building more new plants.

The Public Service Commission issued its latest biennial Strategic Energy Assessment Monday. The report found the state should not need any new baseload generation -- energy needed for a reliable supply barring electricity-sapping events such as heat waves -- through 2014 if all currently authorized projects are constructed.

The report directs PSC staff to evaluate how utilities can cheaply prepare for greenhouse gas limits, saying state, regional and federal constraints look inevitable.

From a news release issued by the Public Service Commission on the final Strategic Energy Assessment – Energy 2014:

Biennially the PSC prepares a strategic energy assessment to evaluate the state’s current and future energy demands. The final report, based on data and information collected in 2007 and 2008 from Wisconsin utilities and power cooperatives highlights several conclusions:

· Mandatory constraints on greenhouse gas emissions at the state, regional and federal level appear to be inevitable, and will carry significant implications for Wisconsin’s electric utilities, as electric power generation is responsible for more than 30 percent of Wisconsin’s greenhouse gas emissions;

· Significant approved new generation coming online is expected to keep planning reserve margins near or above 19 percent through 2012 and based on already approved construction, the planning reserve margin for 2014 is expected to be nearly 12 percent. This number is expected to increase as more energy efficiency is implemented and new generation is proposed;

· Generation planning shows no new baseload generation is needed during this SEA period on a statewide basis;

· It is expected that the current and ongoing transmission system expansion and improvements will greatly enhance the ability to move electricity into and within Wisconsin by 2010; and

· Energy efficiency, conservation, and load control will play an important role in reducing Wisconsin’s energy costs and environmental impacts.

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