2022 ANNUAL REPORT
LEADING THE TRANSFORMATION TO WISCONSIN’S RENEWABLE ENERGY FUTURE THROUGH ADVOCACY, EDUCATION, AND COLLABORATION.
Thank you for your support of RENEW Wisconsin!
2022 was a dynamic year for renewable energy and a busy year for RENEW Wisconsin. Solar energy continues to be a clear energy choice for Wisconsin individuals, nonprofits, schools, businesses, and utilities. Beneficial electrification (replacing fossil fuels used for heating and transportation with electricity) also took major strides with the expanded use of electric vehicles, air-source heat pumps, and battery storage systems.
RENEW staff was busier than ever this year with our work at the Public Service Commission (PSC). Our policy team presented testimony in support of higher parallel generation rates, worked behind the scenes to advance third-party financing for customer-sited renewables, intervened in multiple utility rate cases, and advocated PSC approval for utility-scale solar and storage projects.
In collaboration with Clean Wisconsin, Gridlab, Evolved Energy Resources, and Cambridge Econometrics, staff unveiled our Roadmap to Netzero technical report in October. This modeling details how Wisconsin can reach a point where we emit no more carbon into the atmosphere than can be removed.
Staff also focused this year on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Biden at the end of 2021. This legislation will expand Wisconsin’s electric vehicle charging network, increase clean energy jobs, and strengthen Wisconsin’s electric grid. RENEW is dedicated to ensuring that no communities are adversely affected by the infrastructure buildout and that all Wisconsin communities hosting these facilities will benefit from these necessary investments.
With all of the clean energy progress in 2022, it’s hard to pick a clear winner. However, we can’t overlook the significance of the Inflation Reduction Act on Wisconsin’s energy future. This law will spur further renewable energy development through tax credits, direct payment options, and financial incentives for the manufacturing of clean energy components. These provisions will have huge impacts on Wisconsin’s energy transition for years to come. RENEW is excited to have an opportunity to shape the clean energy transformation fueled by this law.
In 2023, we will advocate, educate, and collaborate to:
- Make clean energy more accessible and affordable by working for community solar options, fairer net metering policies, and heightened access to standard renewable energy financing options.
- Increase renewable energy production by mobilizing support for high-quality, utility-scale wind and solar projects.
- Continue to cultivate bipartisan support for laws and policies that advance solar, wind, biogas, local hydropower, and building and transportation electrification.
- Strengthen partnerships and foster new alliances to plan and achieve a prosperous and equitable zero-carbon future for Wisconsin.
- Expand access to emerging technologies like electric vehicles, battery energy storage, air source heat pumps, and renewable natural gas.
Your continued support will help us jump-start our efforts in 2023 to build on this year’s momentum. Together, we can accelerate homegrown, healthy, and smart renewable energy in Wisconsin!
RENEW Wisconsin Executive Director
- RENEW hosted our 11th Annual Renewable Energy Summit in January. This hybrid event brought together over 600 renewable energy industry professionals, utility leaders, government officials, students, and advocates.
- In February, the Wisconsin State Senate unanimously passed SB 692, which updated Wisconsin’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The PACE Bill was signed into law by Governor Evers in March.
- RENEW Wisconsin, together with a coalition of clean energy advocates, submitted comments in March to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) in favor of protecting and improving net metering in Wisconsin.
- The City of Racine in April unveiled the largest all-electric bus fleet in the state of Wisconsin.
- In April, RENEW assembled a team of experts to develop a comprehensive framework for setting distributed generation (DG) buyback rates to counter utility efforts to undervalue customer-sited renewables.
- The Commission approved Alliant Energy’s application to construct 414 megawatts (MW) of solar generation at six locations. With approvals totaling nearly 1,100 MW, Alliant’s solar portfolio is set to become the largest of any Midwest utility.
- The PSCW approved in April Invenergy’s Koshkonong project in eastern Dane County. The project combines 300 MW of solar generation with 165 MW of battery energy storage.
- Also in April, the PSCW awarded $10 million in funding from the Energy Innovation Grant Program (EIGP) to support innovative energy efficiency, solar and storage projects, and clean energy planning projects.
- Governor Tony Evers introduced Wisconsin’s first-ever Clean Energy Plan and created a new Office of Environmental Justice to promote environmentally fair policies.
- RENEW Wisconsin and a group of solar developers and installers launched SolarShare WI Cooperative, a vehicle enabling members to pool investments into developing small-scale solar farms.
- RENEW Wisconsin launched two campaigns, Clean Energy Works for Wisconsin and Clean Energy is Made in Wisconsin, to promote the benefits of Wisconsin clean energy investments.
- On May 22, RENEW Wisconsin, with presenting sponsor Xcel Energy, hosted the 9th Annual “Ride with RENEW” bike ride fundraiser in Eau Claire, WI.
- Two petitions were filed at the PSCW in May seeking rulings to clarify the issue of third-party-financed renewable energy generation serving individual customers behind their meters.
- Wisconsin submitted its Wisconsin Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (WEVI) Plan, outlining plans for spending the $78.65 Million of available funding to build, operate and maintain Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations.
- In July, RENEW members elected two incumbent board members, Mike Barnett and Jim Funk, and two new board members, Lauren Reeg and Melissa Warning.
- In July, the MidContinent Independent System Operator board signed off on a $10.3 billion portfolio of 18 transmission projects for the Upper Midwest.
- The states of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan signed an agreement in August to add charging stations and boost electric vehicle use around Lake Michigan.
- In August, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the largest public investment in climate change and energy in American history.
- With an invitation extended by Governor Tony Evers, RENEW’s Interim Executive Director, Jessica Niekrasz, and Emerging Technology Director, Francisco Sayu, joined President Biden, his cabinet, and lawmakers at the White House in September to celebrate the Inflation Reduction Act.
- In September, Alliant Energy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony near Nekoosa after completing construction on its 150 MW Wood County solar project.
- In October, RENEW was recognized as Dane County Climate Champion for leading the MadiSUN Solar Group Buy Program for households throughout Dane County.
- Wisconsin now has more than 71,000 clean energy jobs, according to the latest Clean Jobs Midwest report released in October.
- Wisconsin is set to receive 65 new electric school buses (the first in the state) with federal funds awarded in October.
- The PSCW accepted public comments on petitions submitted by Vote Solar and Midwest Renewable Energy Association, seeking clarity on the question of whether individual customers can access electricity generated on their premises from installations owned by third parties.
- RENEW Wisconsin and Clean Wisconsin released Wisconsin’s Roadmap to Net Zero in October. This new energy and economic research shows Wisconsin can cost-effectively achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, bringing sweeping economic and health benefits to our state.
- November 15th marked the one-year anniversary of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Act. Wisconsin funding to date includes $109 million for clean energy, energy efficiency, and power in 2022; $25.8 million for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program; $3.79 million for clean transit buses and improved bus service through DOT’s Low- and No- Emission Bus and Bus and Bus Facilities Program; and $28.4 million in 2022 and 2023 to build out a network of EV chargers across the state.
- In December, RENEW announced Sam Dunaiski as Executive Director.
- In December, PSCW ruled that a Stevens Point family’s bid to access electricity under contract from a third-party-owned solar PV system on their rooftop would not conflict with Wisconsin’s public utility law.
individual members / donors
monthly sustaining members
people reached through speaking engagements
households signed up for solar through the MadiSun Group Buy
MadiSun Solar for Business grants awarded
MadiSun Backyard Solar grants awarded
MW of Solar for Good projects awarded
Our financial performance has enabled us to grow our staff from three employees to 10 employees in the past eight years, establish an endowed internship focused on energy, analysis, and policy from the University of Wisconsin, and strengthen RENEW Wisconsin’s ability to drive our mission of leading and accelerating renewable energy! Your support allows us to continue growing and advancing a stronger, healthier, and more vibrant Wisconsin powered by renewable energy.