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Friday, September 14, 2012

Utility's renewables program judge 'average,' We Energies disputes 'C' grade

From a blog post by Tom Content on JSOnline: 

We Energies and other Wisconsin utilities are getting average grades from a renewable energy advocacy group in ratings released this week. 

Renew Wisconsin announced a renewable energy performance report card that judges how utilities have performed on a variety of levels, including the compliance with the state’s renewable energy mandate as well as a variety of other policies. 

Most of the utilities in the state, including Milwaukee-based We Energies, received “C” grades from Renew Wisconsin, said Don Wichert, executive director of the non-profit organization that seeks to expand development of solar, wind and other types of renewable energy. 

We Energies was praised for its construction of wind farms within the state, creating jobs and providing a local source of green power. But the Milwaukee utility was faulted in part for its decision last year to cancel funding for a renewable energy commitment it gave to Renew 10 years ago. 

At that time, We Energies committed to spending $6 million a year for 10 years on a variety of renewable energy programs. In return, the renewable energy advocacy group agreed not to oppose We Energies’ bid to build its coal-fired power plants in Oak Creek. 

The shift away from helping customers finance renewable systems is one reason We Energies was graded as a “C” on the group’s report card, said Wichert.

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