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Monday, January 2, 2012

Renewable energy summit leader lauds Xcel’s new incentives

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Michael Vickerman
mvickerman@renewwisconsin.org
608.255.4044

The economics of small-scale renewable energy in western Wisconsin will brighten in January when Xcel Energy’s new rates take effect for homeowners and businesses. In a recent rate case decision, the Public Service Commission (PSC) approved Xcel’s proposal to strengthen its support for renewable energy in its territory through higher payments for the energy produced by solar, wind, and biogas installations.

“Xcel’s energy initiative affirms the value of voluntary utility actions that provide needed incentives that support the continued growth of Wisconsin’s renewable energy economy,” said Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director.

RENEW and other industry leaders will host an energy policy summit in January to formulate strategies for advancing in-state development of renewable energy through public policies and private initiatives. More information about the RENEW Energy Policy Summit can be found at http://www.renewwisconsin.org

In the same decision, the PSC strengthened Xcel’s net metering offering. Starting in January, the ceiling on qualifying systems rises from 20 kilowatts to 100 kilowatts in size, which will enable larger solar and wind systems to receive full retail value for energy sold to the utility up to the customer’s annual consumption.

“Net metering policy is a critically important facet of the renewable energy marketplace. At our January summit, we will tackle the thorny questions of how to strengthen this and other policies for assisting Wisconsin electricity customers who wish to capture the benefits of on-site renewable energy production.” Vickerman said.

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