Data suggests optimistic outlook for meeting future priorities including EPA’s carbon standards

MADISON — Wisconsin’s utilities are two years ahead of schedule in meeting an important milestone for clean energy. A Wisconsin Public Service Commission report released today shows that the utilities in 2013 collectively surpassed the 10 percent goal for renewable generation established in the state Renewable Portfolio Standard.

“This is great news, especially in light of last week’s historic proposal for limiting carbon pollution at power plants throughout the United States,” said Keith Reopelle, senior policy director for Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental organization. “Hitting our RPS goal two years early clearly says that Wisconsin is well positioned to meet the EPA’s proposed standards, and the good choices we make today will continue to benefit future generations.”
In 2013, 10.17 percent of electricity generated by Wisconsin utilities came from renewable resources, according to the PSC. In all, this amounted to nearly 7 million megawatt-hours, or enough energy to power nearly 900,000 average households. What’s more is that the electricity provider forecasts used to compile the report show that renewables will remain on the rise to represent about 11.5 percent of Wisconsin’s electricity beyond 2015.
“We especially appreciate that several of Wisconsin’s utilities have gone well beyond what is required,” said Reopelle. “Northern State Power, for example, gets 18 percent of its electricity from renewables. For WPPI, it’s 16 percent; and Dairyland Power’s portfolio is 14 percent.”
Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standard was implemented in 2005 with a goal of 10 percent generation from renewable sources by 2015 among the state’s utilities. Wisconsin’s RPS is the lowest of the 29 states nationwide that have such standards.
“Wisconsin continues to spend more than $12 billion annually to import fossil fuels from out of state,” said Reopelle.   “Our Renewable Portfolio Standard is a vital tool to help us keep that money where it will be better spent generating jobs for hardworking families right here.”