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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

PSC facing key decision on solar and wind energy incentives

Paralleling Tom Content's article for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Mike Ivey's story for the Capital Times offers his interpretation of the opinions and events influencing the PSC's deliberation over whether or not to finalize the decision to suspend Focus on Energy incentives for wind and solar. Commenting in this article, RENEW's Tyler Huebner notes that "Judging by the extraordinary outpouring of support for continuing incentives to solar and small wind, it's clear that the PSC's move to suspend incentives struck a nerve with the public". 

By Mike Ivey
Will Gov. Scott Walker’s Public Service Commission reverse course on renewable energy development in the state?
Clean energy advocates hope so and are reporting a "massive outpouring" of support for continuing incentives for residential solar or wind projects in Wisconsin.
Under its Focus on Energy Program, the state is authorized to spend up to $10 million per year on renewable energy incentives.
But the PSC voted 2-1 in July to suspend the incentives through the end of 2013.
The move stems from a previous directive from the commission to shift more renewable energy incentives to biofuel projects — such as manure digesters or waste wood burning — which some analysts say offer greater energy savings.
A final ruling is expected in the coming weeks, but since July, more than 630 comments were submitted to the PSC urging the panel to maintain the incentives. The three-member commission has two Walker appointees and one holdover from former Gov. Jim Doyle.
"Judging by the extraordinary outpouring of support for continuing incentives to solar and small wind, it's clear that the PSC's move to suspend incentives struck a nerve with the public," says Tyler Huebner, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin.
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