RENEW testimony supports Excel conversion of generation plant to wood

From the direct testimony of Michael Vickerman on behalf of RENEW Wisconsin:

Q. What is the purpose of your testimony?
A. The purpose of my testimony is to communicate our organization’s support for the installation of a biomass gasification system that would produce biomass-derived synthetic gas (“syngas”) for serving Northern States Power’s Bay Front Unit #5.

Q. Why does RENEW support this particular application?
A. We note the following public policy objectives that would be advanced if the proposal submitted by Northern States Power Corporation (“NSPW”) were approved. These objectives include:
1) Meeting Wisconsin’s current Renewable Energy Standard;
2) Eliminating a source of coal-fired power from its system;
3) Using a locally available renewable energy resource;
4) Reducing carbon dioxide emissions and other gaseous pollutants;
5) Maintaining a strong generation source in northern Wisconsin; and
6) Investing Wisconsin capital in a renewable energy generating facility power plant within its borders.

RENEW's winter newsletter goes online

The Wisconsin Renewable Quarterly, RENEW Wisconsin’s newsletter, features these articles:

+ Rest in Peace: Cassville Generation Plant
+ Mississippi River Bird and Bat Study
+ Osceola School Heats Pools with Solar
+ Bob Ramlow: Solar Pioneer
+ Focus on Energy Issues Biogas Profiles
+ Focus on Energy Earns National Honor
+ State Plugs into Renewable Energy

Oak Creek plant settlement includes renewable energy commitments

From a story posted on the Web site of The Business Journal of Milwaukee:

The three owners of the Elm Road Generating Station in Oak Creek will pay $105 million over a 25-year period for Lake Michigan protection projects to end a three- year legal battle over the water intake structure at the power plant, Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club said Wednesday.

Clean Wisconsin and the Sierra Club filed suit after the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a permit allowing the use of a once-through cooling system at the coal-fired power plant. The organizations claimed that once-through cooling did not represent the best available technology for cooling the plant and thus should not be permitted.

Under the settlement, the three utilities that own the generating station — We Energies of Milwaukee, Madison Gas & Electric of Madison and Wisconsin Public Power Inc. of Sun Prairie — agreed to the following:

– Funding $4 million per year from 2010 through 2035 for projects to address water quality issues in Lake Michigan such as invasive species, polluted runoff, toxic loadings, and habitat destruction;

– Purchase or construct 15 megawatts of solar generation by Jan. 1, 2015; and

– Support legislative efforts to establish a renewable energy portfolio standard of 10 percent by 2013 and 25 percent by 2025.

We Energies will also retire two coal-fired units in Presque Isle, Michigan and ask the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for approval to construct 50 megawatts of 100 percent biomass-fueled power in Wisconsin.

In a media release, Mark Redsten, Exeuctive Director, of Clean Wisconsin said:

“We’re happy to have reached an agreement that has significant benefits for both the lake and the fight against global warming. These environmental protections help ensure Lake Michigan is a healthy natural resource for generations to come.”

From a separate release issed by the Sierra Club:

“In the long run, this agreement will result in dramatic improvements to the overall health of Lake Michigan and will contribute to the development of renewable energy sources such as solar and biomass,” said Jennifer Feyerherm, Wisconsin Clean Energy Campaign Director.

“It will help us address two of the most critical issues of our time—climate change and protection of one of the world’s greatest freshwater natural resources.”

Governors' meeting in Milw invites public participation

A meeting of the Advisory Committee of the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord will meet in Milwaukee, July 29, 2008, 12:30- 4:30PM.

According to the meeting Web site, during the breakout sessions:

. . . a subgroup member will give a short presentation regarding the composition and work of the subgroup. There will also be time allotted where the presenter will solicit questions and comments from the audience.

The Web site also explains the accord:

Last November, nine Midwestern states and a Canadian premier signed the Midwestern Greenhouse Gas Accord at a summit of governors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Realizing the unique and major impact that the Midwestern states play in the emissions of carbon, these governors wanted to institute Midwestern practicality in the debate on global warming. While the Midwest has intensive manufacturing and agriculture sectors, making it the most coal-dependent region in North America, it also has world-class renewable energy resources and opportunities to allow it to take a lead role in solving the effects of climate change. The geographical location and ideological-centered beliefs of the Midwestern region provide its leaders with an ability to push the federal policy debate in a productive direction. Through the Accord, these governors agreed to establish a Midwestern greenhouse gas reduction program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their states, as well as a working group to provide recommendations regarding the implementation of the Accord.