Clean Wisconsin
Press Release

Clean Wisconsin applauds clean energy transition by WE Energies & WPS

350 megawatt solar investment in Wisconsin biggest in state

By - Nov 28th, 2017 03:33 pm

MADISON, WIClean Wisconsin issued the following statement on Tuesday after WEC Energy Group officially decided to shutter the Pleasant Prairie coal plant, following a recent presentation highlighting planned investment in 350- megawatts of solar power in Wisconsin by 2020:

“This is a great step for WPS and WE Energies’ from coal and toward solar power, and it is a big win for Wisconsin. They are recognizing that the future of energy is clean, local, and renewable. As the largest investment of clean energy in our state, this will create local jobs and bolster our economy while safeguarding public health and sustaining clean air and natural resources.

“Politicians in Madison and Washington keep looking at the energy sources of the past. We’re glad to see WEC looking forward, understanding that switching from dirty fuels like coal to clean energy is the right thing to do both economically and environmentally. With the transition to the future of energy in Wisconsin, our air will be cleaner, our kids healthier, and our state will run more on cost-effective, locally-sourced energy.

“We applaud this transition while knowing this is only the first of many steps towards a robust clean energy economy in Wisconsin. We expect that this will set the bar for other utilities in the state to meet in the near future.”

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One thought on “Clean Wisconsin applauds clean energy transition by WE Energies & WPS”

  1. David Ciepluch says:

    Consumers still pay for stranded assets and coal plants that sit idle over the coming decades from utility and PSC decisions made over the past 12-years.

    We Energies has spent well over $3.5 Billion on new construction and air pollution equipment over the past ten years that consumers have to pay for in the rates even when these plants sit idle or are shuttered. The term for a shuttered plant that had recent upgrades is a stranded asset. The new Elm Road Plant ($2.3 Billion cost to consumers) will also sit idled during period of time when lower cost natural gas, and wind energy from the west is imported into Wisconsin. During 2010, Wisconsin legislators and governor dropped a planned commitment to reach 25% energy production from renewable sources. Today Wisconsin is less than 5% renewable electric production compared to states to the west that have achieved 25%.

    What we can do is see the mistakes made by We Energies and in Wisconsin to bypass investments in energy efficiency, more wind turbine farms, and tripling of Focus on Energy funds as recommended by the Energy Center of Wisconsin about ten years ago.

    Wisconsin has the potential to further reduce fossil fuel consumption by more than 50% and save consumers over $7 Billion annually. This can be accomplished through comprehensive integrated consumer owned building renovation with energy efficiency technology, solar electric, thermal mass storage with heat, hot water, ice making AC, and plug in cars on time of use rates. This path would further flatten the load curve and make use of off peak energy and create thousand of labor jobs in the renovation market.

    This can be accomplished and stimulated by tripling the Focus on Energy funding, a carbon tax for tax credits on renovation work and upgrading transit systems, and a sale tax exemption on local labor and materials. In urban areas, other programs from water and sewage departments can assist with lead lateral replacements, and storm water upgrades for property drainage.

    Utilities and energy companies fear this real approach since it cuts into their monopoly control of power supply production and pricing and their bottom line of cash flow profit. No CEO is promoted for downsizing operations of a company. It is the first time in over 120 years that consumers have a real competitive tool against a monopoly grip by large energy companies. And our Public Service Commission and governor and legislators sit on their hands and protect and coddle the status quo of big business.

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