Circuit Court sides with RENEW Wisconsin over key solar policy

In its continuous defense of renewable energy policy in Wisconsin, RENEW Wisconsin, a nonprofit advocacy organization, scored a victory from the Dane County Circuit Court that puts solar energy on a stronger footing going forward.

RENEW challenged a 2012 decision by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) which specified the maximum size of a solar system eligible for net metering in We Energies’ electric territory would be 20 kilowatts.  At that time, most of the other investor-owned electric utilities in Wisconsin had a cap of 100 kilowatts, and RENEW argued that We Energies should also have a cap at that level.  Net metering is a policy that allows solar customers, including residents, businesses, schools and other public agencies, to receive full retail credit for the excess energy they deliver to the grid.  A smaller net metering cap limits the ability of larger business customers to power themselves with clean energy.

Agreeing with RENEW Wisconsin, the Dane County Circuit Court found that the PSC’s decision to keep the net metering cap at 20 kilowatts was arbitrary and unsupported in the factual record.  This decision was remanded back to the PSC.

“Better net metering policies will enable more businesses to save money with solar power. Renewable energy has never been as attractive to customers as it is today, and businesses nationwide are adopting solar energy as a way to control their energy costs, businesses like Wal-Mart and Kohl’s.  Moreover, it is important that we promote and defend Wisconsin renewable energy in all decision-making venues and make sure decisions are made based on the facts presented in each case,” said Tyler Huebner, RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director.