Update on Wisconsin Advanced Renewables Tariff

WISCONSIN – On December 8, the Wisconsin PSC posted a memo and minutes from an August 2009 meeting regarding the adoption of an Advanced Renewables Tariff (ART). At the August meeting the PSC requested the larger utility parties collaborate and try to form a consensus approach to expanding voluntary ART in a way that promotes greater statewide consistency in tariff offerings, tariff design, and prices.

To recap, the stated purpose of the ART investigation is to examine whether and how to expand the availability and use of ARTs in Wisconsin and promote greater uniformity in the ARTs already offered by Wisconsin electric utilities. ARTs are currently offered in Wisconsin by the five largest investor-owned utilities, one municipal utility, and one generation cooperative.

Specifically, several main questions are being addressed in this proceeding, including:

  • Should the PSC expand the availability and use of ARTs?
  • Should the PSC require uniformity among them?
  • What are appropriate prices?

As to the issue of prices, the following assumptions guided the price analysis discussion:

  • The tariffs should be fixed over a 10-year period of time.
  • The price should allow for full recovery of capital costs plus a rate of return comparable to the utilities’ allowed return over the fixed term of the contract.
  • For each technology, different prices should be determined in four project size categories based on the categories defined in the Commission’s existing interconnection rules.
  • The customer will take full advantage of state and federal financial incentives where available.
  • The utility would take ownership of all renewable and environmental attributes.

The following table provides a preliminary indication of what the PSC staff determined to be possible “adequate incentive” ART prices. The numbers are presented in cents/ kWh (NM = Net Metering, Std.= Standard).

Technology <20 kW  20-200 kW 200 kW-1 MW  1-5 MW
Solar PV 30 25 Std. Std.
Wind NM 12 10.5 9.2
Biogas NM 10.7 10.5 9.3 (1-2 MW)

8.4 (2-5 MW)

Biomass NM 10 10 10
Landfill Gas NM Std. Std. Std.
Hydro NM Std. Std. Std.

The rationale for these numbers is provided in the memo and minutes document linked above. We will post more information on this docket when it becomes available.


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