Buyback Rates and the Business Case for Distributed Generation in Wisconsin

Buyback Rates and the Business Case for Distributed Generation in Wisconsin

In June of 2020, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) opened an investigation into parallel generation (docket 5-EI-157). Parallel generation refers to distributed generation (DG) that is sited at a customer’s premises and can 1) produce energy for the customer’s energy use, and 2) produce and sell to the utility energy that exceeds the customer’s use. The most common type of DG is a solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop system.

According to the PSC Notice of Investigation, this ongoing parallel generation investigation aims to gather information on costs, markets, emerging technologies, and barriers to DG in the state. A January 2021 RENEW blog described the initial activities in the docket.

After gathering information, the PSC made an initial decision in the docket to further explore:

  • avoided costs and buyback rates for DG;
  • net metering;
  • contracts; and
  • consistent terminology and terms of service across the state.

To better understand the value of DG, the PSC directed the five largest investor-owned utilities in Wisconsin to provide modeling and calculations of ‘avoided costs’ and revise the rates at which the utilities purchase energy from DG (also called ‘buyback rates’).

The utility’s buyback rate is a critical economic variable for DG. When homeowners and businesses entertain the idea of solar generation on their rooftops, they must first consider the costs and benefits of installation. The principal economic benefits of installing solar are reducing the energy you buy from the utility and getting paid for the excess energy you sell to the utility. Outside of the net energy billing services available for small installations, most utilities in Wisconsin pay very little for the energy they purchase from DG customers. Utility payments to DG customers don’t recognize the value of local, clean energy, which then oppresses the development of DG and hinders the advancement of carbon reduction goals.

It became apparent that upcoming PSC decisions would reset buyback rates and influence the business case for DG in Wisconsin, potentially for decades to come. As a result, RENEW put together a plan to participate in the utility cases and contracted with GridLab and Synapse Energy Economics to provide expert testimony on the issues.

When the utilities filed their buyback rate applications in early September last year, there were no major surprises to the clean energy community. Rather than model and calculate the long-term avoided costs of local, renewable DG, as the Commission requested, utilities either cited short-term marginal prices for some costs or simply stated that DG provides no value for other costs. RENEW needed to do more than simply critique the utility applications. The RENEW team developed a complete counterproposal for the Commission’s consideration, premised on criteria established by the Commission and just, reasonable buyback rates for DG customers.

Over several months, RENEW collaborated with its consultants and Keyes & Fox, a firm dedicated to clean energy law. Focusing on the Commission’s conceptual framework of avoided energy, generating capacity, and transmission costs, RENEW’s team gathered information, developed and ran market models, and calculated buyback rates. This ensured that RENEW’s proposal would meet the Commission’s requirements and recognize the actual value renewable DG provides to all utility customers.

These efforts resulted in a comprehensive framework for the Commission to consider and adopt for all utilities across Wisconsin. The RENEW team is now submitting testimony and evidence to support this comprehensive framework in all five utility cases.

RENEW now needs your support! The Commission will soon open the public comment period for these five cases and needs to hear from clean energy organizations, climate activists, businesses, and residents across Wisconsin. Below is a list of the five utility cases. RENEW will update the list with dates and direct links to make public comments when the public comment period becomes known. Since Commission decisions in these cases will set a precedent for all utilities in Wisconsin, we encourage you to comment on all 5 cases.

Click on applicable links below to submit comments for each utility.

Energy Policy Nerd Alert!

If you are interested in reading through the details of RENEW’s testimony filings, below are links to direct testimony filings for the case proceeding first (Xcel Energy, aka Northern States Power Company-Wisconsin). Testimony for other cases mentioned above will be available at a later date.

Direct Testimony of Andrew Kell
Direct Testimony of Michael Vickerman
Direct Testimony of Divita Bhandari (Synapse consultant)
Direct Testimony of Rachel Wilson (Synapse consultant)

Clean Energy Legislative Issue Summary • 2021-22 was the start of something big

Clean Energy Legislative Issue Summary • 2021-22 was the start of something big

The 2021-22 legislative session in Wisconsin is now over. It was a busy session for clean energy initiatives with legislation introduced to allow more community solar, clarify the rules for leasing solar equipment, and update the regulations for electric vehicle (EV) chargers. Most of these bills were bipartisan, with support on both sides of the aisle. See the bottom of this article for a summary of this year’s major clean energy legislation.

The session started when Governor Tony Evers introduced his 2021-23 Budget Bill in February 2021. It included 28 provisions (many of them drawn from the Governor’s Taskforce on Climate Change) that would have advanced Wisconsin’s clean energy and energy efficiency. Among those provisions were recommendations to expand Focus on Energy, invest in the clean energy workforce, and support Wisconsin’s electric vehicle infrastructure. Unfortunately, by the time the Governor signed the Budget in July, those provisions were removed from the Budget and did not pass.

On November 15, several Democratic legislators introduced a package of 22 bills called Forward on Climate. The package proposed increased funding for Focus on Energy, on-bill financing of energy efficiency improvements from utilities, and a Wisconsin Climate Corp to provide training and opportunities in clean energy industries for Wisconsin’s youth. The session ended without any of these bills being adopted. Still, it outlined what kinds of initiatives they support to create good, family-supporting jobs, reduce inequality, and fight climate change through Wisconsin-centered policies.

What passed and what progress was made?

The only major clean energy bill that passed this session was a bill to modernize the PACE financing program. However, many clean energy initiatives made in-roads with legislators from both sides of the aisle. The new technology developments and dropping prices for renewable energy over the last few years is an excellent story for reducing emissions, bolstering economic growth, diminishing energy prices, and creating jobs. Even if there are still hurdles to overcome, everyone is interested in learning more.

There is growing interest among a wide range of stakeholders in clean energy legislation. The best example is SB 490, the community solar bill, where many diverse interests have registered in support. While some groups have expressed concerns with the bill, most business and public interest groups who registered support this kind of change.

Even though we didn’t pass them this session, electric vehicle legislation is also getting attention, especially in light of the volatile gas prices this year. As the price of EV battery production falls, the initial price of EVs will get more competitive, making the cost of EV operations compared to petroleum-powered vehicles very attractive.

The EV transition is coming fast, and we need to be ready. We need to finalize the rules and regulations over EV charging, determine how to pay for the roads if the gas tax generates less income, and streamline the buying process for new EVs coming into the market. One of the big things happening in the coming year is the millions in federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act money coming to Wisconsin for EV infrastructure. We need to work with all stakeholders to ensure that Wisconsin can utilize that money efficiently.

What happens next?

Over the summer and fall, RENEW Wisconsin will meet with candidates running for state and federal office. We will be educating them about new developments in clean energy and electric vehicles and discussing essential policy changes we need to make these advances available to everyone in Wisconsin.

You can also do your part by getting involved in your local elections, talking to your local candidates, and supporting the candidates who support clean energy with your votes, time, and financial contributions. This time of year, candidates are especially interested in what you have to say and will take the time to listen. Clean energy can have a big year in 2023, but only if we do the work this year to educate and help elect candidates who will support us!

If you would like information on any clean energy issues or the elections, please contact Jim Boullion, Director of Government Affairs,,

2021-22 Wisconsin Legislative Session

Clean Energy and Electric Vehicle Issue Summary

PACE Financing Modernization(SB 692/Wisconsin Act 175Sen. Cowles and Rep. Thiesfeldt)

  1. Expands type of projects that may be financed: Adds energy reliability improvements, weather-related resiliency projects, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and stormwater control measures.
  2. Financing: Defines the term of the repayment period, clarifies that financing may be repaid through a lien, and ensures that mortgage holders provide written consent before the issuance of funding.
  3. Performance Requirements: Removes the requirement for project savings to exceed project costs and would instead require a third-party assessment of the anticipated energy and water cost savings from the proposed project and confirmation of proper installation after work is completed.
  4. Excludes Residential PACE: Prohibits PACE financing for residential units of less than five units. PACE loans will remain only for commercial or industrial buildings.

Assembly:  Passed on voice vote (2/23/2022) and sent to Governor for signature.
Senate: Passed 32-0 on 2/15/22.
RENEW Position:  Support.

EV Charging Rules – (SB 573 – Sen. Cowles and Rep. VanderMeer) Clarify that selling electricity by the kilowatt-hour to electric vehicles (EVs) does not subject EV charging station owners to utility regulation. No city, village, town, county, school district, special purpose district, or state agency may own, operate, manage, lease or control a charging facility. Local governments can authorize a utility or private entity to operate a charger on their property. Requires that all energy come from the local utility, limiting Solar+Storage EV charger availability.

Senate: Passed on vote of 19-13 (2/15/2022). Did not concur with Assembly Amended bill 3/8/22
Assembly: Passed on voice vote, with amendment, (2/24/22). Failed to pass.
RENEW Position: Oppose due to restrictions on non-utility energy sources and restrictions on the State and local governments from owning or operating EV chargers.

Expanded Development of Community Solar – (SB 490 / AB 527 – Sen. Stroebel and Rep. Ramthun)  Would authorize the development of non-utility-owned community solar projects, allowing more individuals and businesses to access clean energy, save money and create good-paying jobs. Require local investor-owned utilities (Cooperative and municipal utility territories would be exempt) to provide credits on utility bills of subscribers for the energy generated by the system. Directs the PSC to develop rules that will establish fair credit rates and compensation to utilities for the use of utility infrastructure and billing.

Assembly: Energy and Utilities. Failed to pass.
Senate: Utilities, Technology, and Telecommunications. Failed to pass.
RENEW Position: Support

3rd Party Financing/Leasing – (SB 702 / AB 731– Sen. Cowles and Rep. Cabral-Guevara) Clarify that 3rd party financing/leasing of renewable energy equipment is legal in Wisconsin.

Assembly: Energy and Utilities. Failed to pass.
Senate: Utilities, Technology, and Telecommunications. Failed to pass.
RENEW Position: Support

Energy Storage Sales Tax Exemption – (SB 672 /AB 710Sen. Cowles and Rep. Duchow) Clarify that battery storage devices installed as part of a renewable energy system should be included in the sales tax exemption for renewable energy system equipment.

Assembly: Committee on Ways and Means. Failed to pass.
Senate: Committee on Financial Institutions and Revenue. Failed to pass.
RENEW Position: Support

Use $10 million of VW Settlement Funds for EV Charging Station Grants – (SB 663/AB 695 – Sen. Cowles and Rep. VanderMeer) Grants from these funds will be used to install electric vehicle charging stations at key locations throughout Wisconsin. Requires the PSC and DOT to study how the growing number of EVs will impact the transportation fund and determine methods to ensure they contribute to that fund equitably. Grant recipients can only resell electricity obtained from the local electric utility. $5m for EV Corridors; $3m for businesses or multifamily; $2m to be determined by PSC.

Senate: Committee on Transportation and Local Government. Passed committee 5-0. Failed to pass.
Assembly: Committee on Energy and Utilities. Failed to pass.
RENEW Position: Support

Direct Purchase of Electric Vehicles –  (SB 462 / AB 439 Sen. Kooyenga and Rep. Neylon) Would enable electric vehicle manufacturers to deliver and service vehicles in Wisconsin using online sales or manufacturer-owned dealerships without going through a 3rd party dealership.

Senate: Senate Gov. Operations Committee. Passed Committee 4-1. Failed to pass.
Assembly: Committee on Transportation. Failed to pass.
RENEW Position: Support

Create a System to Measure Carbon Emissions for Animal Agriculture Operators. (SB1054 / AB 1072 – Sen. Cowles and Rep. Tauchen).  

  1. DATCP shall establish voluntary and market-driven standards for quantifying the carbon emissions produced directly and indirectly from an animal agriculture operator’s activity.
  2. DATCP must facilitate trade in products and services related to transactions between animal agriculture operators and other parties for carbon emission offsets and may operate an electronic marketplace for selling and purchasing carbon emission offsets.
  3. PSC shall develop a statewide master plan for collecting, transporting, and commercializing renewable natural gas produced from animal wastes, biomass, and other organic sources.
  4. PSC will establish standardized power purchase agreements and standardized agreements for the provision of energy as a service between animal agriculture operators and electric utilities

Assembly: Committee on Energy and Utilities. Failed to pass.
Senate: Committee on Natural Resources and Energy. Failed to pass.
RENEW Position: Support

Join The Conversation About Potential Net Metering Policy Changes

Join The Conversation About Potential Net Metering Policy Changes

Net metering is a billing policy that enables customers who generate electricity from solar energy to receive a bill credit for the excess energy they add to the grid. This arrangement allows residential and business customers to generate their own electricity, reduce carbon emissions, and provide substantial economic benefits to their communities.

In Wisconsin, net metering varies widely by utility. For example, some utilities use a monthly billing period for netting, while others use an annual period. Some utilities cap systems to 20 kilowatts (kW) for net metering purposes, while others have a 100 kW or 300 kW cap. Due to statewide inconsistencies across utilities, there are opportunities for policy improvements to provide clarity and better reflect the value of solar. 

Solar customers and clean energy supporters have an opportunity to submit comments to the Public Service Commission in favor of protecting and improving net metering in Wisconsin. The Commission has asked for remarks on four key questions and shared a 60-page memo from the Regulatory Assistance Project describing net metering policy issues, changes to net metering in other states, and several other aspects for consideration. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22, 2022.



The PSC’s net metering questions (paraphrased):

  1. Do current net metering tariffs appropriately balance the ratemaking principles?
  2. Do current net metering tariffs align with the Commission’s mission and state energy policy goals?
  3. How could net metering tariffs better align with ratemaking principles and policy goals?
  4. What, if any, further action should the Commission take to review and reform net metering tariffs?

While RENEW is enthusiastic that the Commission is exploring ways to improve net metering, nuances in the memo could undercut rather than accelerate solar growth in Wisconsin. It is critical that any effort to rework net metering in Wisconsin protects the positive features of the current system and carefully evaluates the risks and benefits of any changes. As evidenced by the PSC’s 2021 PV potential study, Wisconsin can expand customer-owned solar, especially with the correct net metering policies. However, opening up the door to changes too quickly may put the current benefits of net metering at risk.

We encourage you to submit comments and share what’s working, what’s not, and why supporting a robust net metering policy is critical for Wisconsin’s clean energy future. 

Thank you for your support!

Rooftop Potential Solar PV Study – Boundless potential…how do we unlock it?

Rooftop Potential Solar PV Study – Boundless potential…how do we unlock it?

Wisconsin’s rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) marketplace is still in its infancy. In 2020, rooftop solar generating capacity was approximately 104 megawatts (MW), representing about 1/3rd of one percent (or 0.333%) of all the electricity produced in our state.

However, Wisconsin’s rooftop solar market is growing, with over 10 MW of solar installed on residential homes last year, compared with approximately 5 megawatts in 2019. The combination of Wisconsin’s current rooftop solar capacity and adoption rate in the solar marketplace prompted Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to request a Rooftop Solar PV Potential study. The study provides both technical potential and simulated market adoption analyses.

Technical Potential Study

Nearly 37 gigawatts (GW) of technically feasible rooftop solar capacity would be possible in Wisconsin by 2026. By 2034, another 2 GW[1] of solar would be possible on Wisconsin rooftops, for a total of 39 GW, enough to provide around 70% of our total statewide electricity needs. Unfortunately, only 1.6% of this is projected to be adopted by 2034, given our current set of economic and regulatory factors.

The technical potential study considers all rooftop square footage in the state with less than 20% shade. It does not view houses and facilities that need structural upgrades, electrical upgrades, or new rooftop materials. Nor does it factor in the host utility’s net-metering capacity maximum. Essentially, the study represents the theoretical maximum amount of Wisconsin rooftop solar capacity.

Market Potential Study

The PSC market potential study focused on a business-as-usual scenario and four new economic scenarios that would help drive solar adoption. The new scenarios are as follows:

  • A statewide, net-metering policy
  • Increased Focus on Energy incentives
  • “Attractive” financing (reducing interest rates to 2.5% and requiring no down payment)
  • Extending the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) at 26% until 2026.

The statewide net-metering policy demonstrated the best hypothetical outcome for rooftop solar adoption of the four potential scenarios. This net-metering policy would include a 500 kW net-metering cap and an annual “true-up,” meaning excess solar energy could be passed on or “banked” from month to month instead of only day-to-day.

Each of the potential scenarios resulted in increased solar adoption from baseline scenarios, but the standardized net-metering policy resulted in the highest adoption levels. While the other three scenarios represented a 5 – 15% increase in solar capacity, the net-metering approach resulted in a nearly 30% increase in adoption.

The majority of solar potential is concentrated in the residential sector, primarily among single-family homes. Approximately 62% of the technical solar potential comes from single-family homes, with the market-simulated study showing residential solar making up 50% to 70% of the total rooftop solar capacity.


Technical and Residential Potential – Under an ideal technical scenario, Wisconsin could reach 265% of its electric capacity and approximately 70% of our total annual electricity production from rooftop solar alone. The technical study doesn’t consider battery storage and other demand-side measures, which could make rooftop solar an even more efficient source of energy than it currently is today.

The potential for rooftop solar in the residential sector is substantial. Utility bills make up a large percentage of many household incomes, especially with more people working from home. Demand-side measures and other energy-efficient upgrades can reduce household utility bills further, speeding our energy transition even more quickly.

Jobs and Equity – Solar installer is already slated to be one of the fastest-growing jobs in the country, and this rooftop solar potential could place additional strains on worker demand. Wisconsin solar contractors are already challenged to find enough qualified employees, especially electricians, and the possibility of adding so much renewable energy to the grid means we’ll need to find people to fill these roles.

Wisconsin will need all hands on deck to build our clean energy future, which will mean making sure underrepresented communities are recruited into this robust workforce. It will be necessary to engage and train rural residents, people from impoverished areas, and people of color. Job programs like Madison’s GreenPower Program are essential to training tomorrow’s workforce, but we will likely need more programs like this moving forward.

Incorporating gigawatts of rooftop solar will also improve the health and futures of Wisconsin residents. In particular, studies have shown that fossil fuel generation sources, like coal and gas plants, are much more likely to be sited in lower-income communities, resulting in many poor health outcomes for members of those communities. Adding widespread, distributed rooftop solar to our energy mix will allow many fossil fuel plants to be decommissioned and taken offline. Plus, marginalized communities will share in the economic benefits that rooftop solar can have on utility bills.

Net-metering potential – From an economics perspective, net-metering is a highly beneficial tool for behind-the-meter solar installations, especially in the residential sector. Net-metering has positive impacts for both the consumer and the utility; rooftop solar provides additional capacity value for utilities when the grid needs it most (typically afternoons). It allows customers to receive credit for the excess electrons they produce and provide to the grid. This is why RENEW Wisconsin has advocated for a standardized, statewide net-metering policy for customer-owned solar arrays.

The findings in this report related to net-metering show the true value net-metering has on rooftop solar systems, especially those installed on residential dwellings. The net-metering scenario creates around 650 MW of new solar production, nearly 40% more than a business-as-usual scenario which only yields about 450 MW of rooftop solar capacity. This study shows a standardized net-metering policy would also have more dramatic and long-term effects on household utility bills than other scenarios considered, including increased tax credits or higher Focus on Energy incentives. This is especially true among income-qualified households, where a significant portion of monthly income goes towards utility payments.

RENEW hopes that the technical and market potential study findings will help bolster much of our regulatory work on the Parallel Generation docket at the Public Service Commission. RENEW advocates for an all-of-the-above approach to transitioning away from fossil fuel. Both utility- and customer-owned renewable energy sources will be needed to decarbonize our energy sector. This study shows that rooftop solar has a much more significant potential than previously thought and demonstrates how vital these installations will be over the next few decades.

[1] These increases in projections were primarily due to load growth and efficiency improvements in solar panels.

PACE Bill Unanimously Passes in Wisconsin Senate

PACE Bill Unanimously Passes in Wisconsin Senate

The Wisconsin State Senate demonstrated unanimous support for clean energy today with the passage of SB 692, which updates Wisconsin’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. The bill now moves to the State Assembly, where similar bipartisan support could pass the bill before the end of the session.

“We are excited to have bipartisan, unanimous support for this clean energy financing option which will help Wisconsin businesses shift to clean energy and drive economic investment. We thank Senator Cowles for introducing this legislation which demonstrates the broad appeal of common-sense clean energy solutions,” said Heather Allen, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin. 

PACE financing creates a mechanism for commercial, industrial, health care, agricultural, nonprofit, and multifamily property owners to obtain low-cost, non-recourse financing for up to 100% of the cost of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Financing options up to 30 years yield positive cash flows and increase the net operating income for commercial and industrial building owners. PACE loans are attached to the property, not the person, allowing the remaining cost of those improvements to transfer to a new owner if the property is sold.

SB 692 will improve access to PACE financing in Wisconsin by adding clarity and expanding eligibility.

Among other changes, the legislation: 

  1. Expands the type of projects that may be financed to include energy reliability improvements, weather-related resiliency projects, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and stormwater control measures.
  2. Defines the term of the repayment period, clarifying that financing may be repaid through a lien, and ensures that all mortgage holders provide written consent before the issuance of funding.
  3. Removes the requirement for energy and water savings to exceed project costs and would instead require that the owner obtain a third-party assessment of the anticipated energy and water cost savings from the proposed project and provide confirmation of proper installation after work is completed.
  4.    The bill also prohibits PACE financing for residential units of less than five units. Wisconsin does not currently have a residential PACE program. In the few states that have tried implementing a residential program, problems developed when individual homebuyers did not fully understand the implications of a PACE loan. 

“Regular updates to our energy laws and financing programs like PACE allow Wisconsin’s citizens to benefit from the many advancements in clean, affordable renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies,” said Jim Boullion, Director of Government Affairs.

RENEW Wisconsin 2022 Summit Honored Clean Energy Leaders

RENEW Wisconsin 2022 Summit Honored Clean Energy Leaders

During its eleventh annual Renewable Energy Summit, titled “All Roads Lead to Clean Energy,” RENEW Wisconsin honored individuals and businesses who have made significant and lasting advances in clean energy development here in Wisconsin. Presented by greenpenny, Invenergy, and NextEra Energy Resources, the summit took place Thursday, January 27, 2022, at Monona Terrace in Madison. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Summit featured a mix of in-person and online attendees and speakers.

In keeping with the program theme, summit presenters spotlighted the intertwining pathways leading Wisconsin closer to the zero-carbon goals embraced by state and local leaders, influential businesses, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Featured speakers included Commissioner Tyler Huebner (Wisconsin Public Service Commission) and Kari Lydersen (author and journalist). 

During the summit, RENEW presented awards to a trio of clean energy businesses and champions in recognition of the leadership they’ve demonstrated in the years leading up to the present occasion. They are:

2022 Awardees

Clean Energy Business of the Year: Arch Solar, Plymouth

Arch Solar, a Plymouth-based company, founded in 2003, has become the largest full-service solar contractor in Wisconsin, with about 90 employees. Arch connects veterans to solar energy, primarily through its efforts to place them in its workforce. It is also a certified Women’s Business Enterprise, one of the few in the clean energy field.

Clean Energy Educator of the Year: Kenneth Walz, Madison Area Technical College

Kenneth Walz is a nationally recognized leader in developing coursework and training materials to help post-secondary students acquire skills for entry into the renewable energy workforce. As director for the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education, Ken has enabled Madison Area Technical College to become the state’s preeminent energy education center and laboratory. Ken has also been an effective internal champion for “solarizing” all Madison College’s campuses. With the recent installation of a 133-kilowatt array at its Watertown branch, the Madison College system now hosts more solar generating capacity than any other school or local government in Wisconsin. In 2020, U.S. EPA bestowed a Green Power Leadership Award to Madison College for incorporating clean energy into its curriculum and operations.

Clean Energy Trailblazer of the Year: Susan Millar, 350 Madison 

Susan Millar is a member of 350 Madison, a local citizens group catalyzing meaningful public and private actions to address climate change threats. She recently launched an ambitious effort to re-engineer her 90-year-old house to become an all-electric residence. Susan converted her conventionally heated house to one that runs on an all-electric, solar-assisted energy platform. She disengaged from a convenient but carbon-intensive heating source to rely on electric heating appliances and technologies instead. Susan’s house has been gas-free since September 2021. 

This year’s Summit program also drew attention to other milestones and notable achievements in 2021, including the following:

  • The Public Service Commission (PSC) approved six large solar projects—Wood County, Grant County, Onion River, Darien, Springfield, and Apple River—that will add 950 megawatts (MW) of solar power to Wisconsin’s electric generation portfolio.
  • The PSC also approved applications from Alliant-Wisconsin Power and Light and Xcel-Northern States Power of Wisconsin to add a combined seven solar farms totaling 764 MW to their respective power plant fleets.
  • Madison Gas and Electric completed its largest Renewable Energy Rider project to date. Located in Fitchburg, the 20 MW O’Brien Solar Fields project serves seven customers, including the State of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 
  • In partnership with the Couillard Solar Foundation, RENEW’s Solar for Good program issued grants for leveraging the installation of 1.27 MW of solar capacity serving 26 nonprofit-owned entities across the state.
  • The first combined solar and microgrid project, serving the Bad River Tribal reservation in Ashland County, was placed in service. Project partners included a local nonprofit, Cheq Bay Renewables, and Menasha-based EnTech Solutions, the contractor that designed the project for the tribe.    
  • Employing the group purchase model, solar contractors teamed up with nonprofits and local governments to install 1,887 kW of solar capacity to 260 residential customers across the state.

This annual event featured an exposition hall, breakout sessions, and industry professionals discussing the current and future opportunities for advancing renewable energy in Wisconsin.

Click here for more information on the 2022 Summit program agenda, speakers, and registration. 

This year’s Summit was supported by over 100 sponsors including greenpenny, Invenergy, NextEra Energy Resources, Alliant Energy, Arch Electric, ATC, Couillard Solar Foundation, Eagle Point Solar, OEI (Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation), Savion, Stantec, Boldt, CED Greentech, EDF Renewables / Distributed Solutions, Foley & Lardner LLP, Generac, Michael, Best and Freiderich, MREA, Northwind Solar, OneEnergy, REC Group, SC Johnson, Steigerwaldt Land Services, SunPeak, Focus on Energy, AVID Risk Solutions, Carlson Electric, Braun Intertec, Current Electric, Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC), Endries Solar and Electric, Entech Solutions Inc, Full Spectrum Solar, Glow Solar, Good Steward Consulting, HellermannTyton, Ingeteam, JCG Land Services Inc, WI K-12 Energy Education Program, Keyes & Fox, Madison College, Milwaukee Shines, muGrid Analytics, National Grid, Nautilus Solar, Pines Bach, PRC Wind, Ranger Power, Ruekert- Mielke, Stone House Development, SunBadger Solar, TRC, Werner Electric, WIDRC, Xcel Energy, Ayres Associates, Chint Power Systems (CPS), Michael J. Allen, EOR, Kapur & Associates, Legacy Solar Cooperative, McKinstry, Midwest Solar Power, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Oconomowoc Realty, Organic Valley, PACE, Sustain Dane, Trillium Construction, Vanguard Real Estate Solutions, Westphal & Company, Inc., Wisconsin Clean Cities, Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, All Energy Solar, Audubon Great Lakes, Aurora Solar, City of Madison, Clean Fuel Connects, Clean Wisconsin, Construction Business Group (CBG), Convergence Energy, Eland Electric, EMCS, Energy Analysis and Policy – Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, Energy News Network / Midwest Energy News, Ethos Renewable Energy, Equix, Inc, GDS Associates, Gundersen Health System, HGA Architects and Engineers, JDR Engineering, Local 139 Operators, North Central States Regional Carpenters Council, Nokomis Energy, Samsung Renewable Energy, Solar Connection, Summit Ridge Energy, UA Local 400 Plumbers & Pipefitters, UW Office of Sustainability, WES Renewables (Engineering), Westwood, Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, Wisconsin Energy Institute, Wisconsin Health Professionals for Climate Action, WI Sustainable Business Council, and WPPI Energy.

About RENEW Wisconsin
RENEW Wisconsin is a nonprofit organization that promotes renewable energy in Wisconsin. We work on policies and programs supporting solar, wind, biogas, local hydropower, geothermal energy, and electric vehicles. More information can be found on RENEW’s website: