May/June 2018 Issue
Also in this issue: New Laws Modify Requirements for Publishing Legal Notices | Discovery Law Changes: What You Need To Know | OEI Launches Energy Innovation Grant Program
PSCW Sets New Focus on Energy Funding Parameters
Richard Heinemann | 05.28.18
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (“PSCW”) has completed its quadrennial planning review and established new funding parameters for the FOCUS on Energy program. The decision, made at the Commission’s May 3 open meeting, allocates approximately $5.5 million in renewable energy incentives for the four year period beginning in 2019.
The FOCUS on Energy program provides incentives and education to residential and commercial customers, including municipalities and schools, to promote energy efficiency and fund renewable energy resources. The total budget for the FOCUS program statewide is $100 million annually.
In addition to reaffirming the high demand for, and merits of, the FOCUS program, the Commission’s decision is notable for establishing a new “mid-sized business” submarket for renewable energy projects. The new submarket is intended to fund larger renewable energy projects (i.e., greater than 125 kW) and thereby address a deficiency in funding capacity that was reported by trade allies in the last funding round. Funding for mid-sized and large business applicants, which include local governments and schools, is available through a competitive proposal process under the Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program (“RECIP”). Funding for the residential and small business programs will continue to be on a first-come, first-serve, reservation basis.
The Commission’s quadrennial review also referenced an ongoing study of renewable energy programming best practices being conducted by Tetra Tech, a research group based in Madison. Results from the study are expected later this fall and could be the basis for additional FOCUS programming changes. The Commission also authorized PSCW staff to explore additional opportunities to provide targeted support for rural and agricultural communities, including enhancements to the Anaerobic Digester System Program, using $5 million in unspent FOCUS funds.
Information on the RECIP program may be found at https://focusonenergy.com/business.
— Richard A. Heinemann
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