PSC Issues Energy ReportsJune 21, 2012
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin recently issued a draft of the biennial strategic energy assessment and a report on the cost of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Both reports will be used to guide state energy policy decisions.
The public is invited to comment on the PSC’s draft version of “Energy 2018,” Wisconsin's biennial, statutorily-required, strategic energy assessment (SEA) for public comment and review.
The PSC prepares a strategic energy assessment every two years to evaluate the state's current and future energy demands, how those demands will be met, and the reliability of the electrical system over the next seven years. The report is based on data and information collected in 2010 and 2011 from Wisconsin utilities and power cooperatives. This is the seventh SEA the PSC has prepared.
The Commission's stated goal for the assessment is to further explore these key issues and to focus on a framework for better planning and integrating energy generation and transmission.
Highlights from the report include:
- Once again coal was the dominant energy source in Wisconsin. According to the report, in 2010, 63 percent of Wisconsin’s energy came from coal.
- The recent economic downturn has reduced peak demand growth in Wisconsin. Wisconsin utilities forecast between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent annual load growth through 2018.
- Wisconsin’s planning reserve margins are forecasted to remain above 13.6 percent through 2018.
- Energy rates have increased and in 2010 were higher than both the Midwest and U.S. averages. Much of this is attributed to sales decline, transmission and generation investments, renewable energy projects, EPA regulations, fuel price volatility, and the high-fixed cost nature of the utility business.
- Of four pending EPA rules (Water intake, Coal Combustion Residuals, CSAPR, UMACT), nearly half of all coal units are affected by three of the four rules, and nearly 75 percent are affected by two of the four rules.
Public comments on the draft report must be received by September 14, 2012.
Report on the Rate and Revenue Impacts of the Wisconsin Renewable Portfolio Standard
The PSC has also released its statutorily required report detailing the rate and revenue impacts of the Wisconsin renewable portfolio standard (RPS).
The report notes the Commission has approved capital costs amounting to approximately $1.7 billion since 2007 for new utility-owned renewable facilities. Approximately $500 million of this accounts for facilities that went into service after 2010, or have not yet been constructed, and are therefore not included in this analysis of the 2008 to 2010 period. Only costs associated with those utility-owned facilities that went into service from 2006 up through the end of 2010 are included in the analysis in this report.
Using two different perspectives—one perspective based on the amount of electricity generated from new renewable facilities, and the other perspective based on the amount of electricity from renewable resources sold at retail to Wisconsin customers beyond that which was sold to customers before the RPS was enacted, the report summarizes the overall effect of Wisconsin's RPS on ratepayers from 2008 to 2010. It concludes ratepayers paid nearly $210 million from the perspective of new renewable generation, or, from the perspective of new renewable electricity sales, approximately $191 million.
This post was authored by GLLF staff attorney Emily Kelchen.