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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Utility's renewables program judged '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.

“That’s nothing to shout about,” he said. “We don’t want to be average. There is no reason that Wisconsin utilities should be performing at average levels in clean energy.”

But the Milwaukee utility said it’s spent heavily on development of renewable energy, tallying up nearly $1 billion in investments in its two wind farms as well as the biomass power plant under construction in north-central Wisconsin. As a result, the utility is in position to be in compliance with the state's renewable mandate through 2018.


  1. I think there's a need for a concrete repair with the way we acquire and use the renewable energy, to make it safer and organic. I've been hearing a lot of reformation with regards to this concern, I hope the studies and researches such as this one continues.

  2. Ever heard of "Renewable Energy Certificates" (REC)? If the old techniques don't work anymore, it only means we have to change the things are done. I do think this project can bring positive changes in our environment, we just have to continue with the research and improvement, to prove that we're not wasting our time trying succeed on what the majority thinks "can never happen".