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Renew Wisconsin, WE Energies Announce Solar Settlement

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We Energies and RENEW Wisconsin recently announced a settlement agreement regarding solar energy and customer-owned generation.

With the agreement, We Energies will no longer pursue a solar fixed-cost recovery charge as part of its rate review with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, and RENEW Wisconsin agrees to support an upcoming We Energies utility-scale solar project.

Renew Wisconsin Executive Director Tyler Huebner says the objected to a WE Energies proposal..

"...Back in 2014, WE Energies proposed that customers with solar panels pay a surcharge. It was going to be in the range of $15-20 dollars a month. If you had solar panels you would pay that extra fee. That would cut into about 20-25 percent of the savings that you would be getting with lower electric bills.."

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved that request. Renew Wisconsin and others appealed and won in court. Earlier this year WE Energies applied again for an extra solar surcharge. He says the two sides recently settled. WE Energies agreed to drop the request for a solar surcharge. In exchange, Huebner says Renew Wisconsin will support a utility-scale solar project by WE Energies..

"A large solar facility, something which Wisconsin Public Service was recently approved to acquire. So that's going to help us move forward as a state move past coal power or reduce the use of out-of-state coal and make more power right here in Wisconsin..."

The two parties also agree to collaborate in a series of good-faith discussions for at least the next two years with the goal of finding potential areas of agreement on renewable energy and distributed generation.

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