Energy On Wisconsin is a collaboration of the State Energy Office (SEO) and University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. 
February 2015
Upcoming Education
Recently Added Resources
Upcoming Education Opportunities
Wisconsin Refuels with Wood Energy Webinar Series
February 18, 2015 - April 18, 2015

MEEA Policy Webinar: Energy Efficiency Economic Impact and Jobs Creation
February 19, 2015: 10:30 am - 11:30 am

ENERGY STAR Webinar: Portfolio Manager 101
February 24, 2015: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

ENERGY STAR Webinar: ENERGY STAR Resources for Local Governments
February 24, 2015: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

ENERGY STAR Webinar: Portfolio Manager 201
February 25, 2015: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

DOE Webinar: Models for Tribal Energy Development Organizations
February 25, 2015: 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

ENERGY STAR Webinar: How to Apply for ENERGY STAR
February 26, 2015: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

DOE Webinar: Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy
February 26, 2015: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Supercharge Sustainability with Employee Engagement and Games
March 17, 2015: 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Events and Other Education
MEEA Certified Practitioner in Energy Management Systems Training - Chicago, IL
February 24-27, 2015: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Better Buildings: Better Business Conference - Residential
Rosemont, IL: February 26-27, 2015
Wisconsin Dells: March 11-13, 2015
For directions on how to create an account on click here

This Month's Picture

Gundersen Health System achieves energy independence to protect public health. The Cashton Greens wind farm with Organic Valley is one of the many renewable sources the company has invested in. For more information see Energy On Wisconsin project page and article. Photo courtesy of Gundersen Health System

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Court Challenge to the PSC on New Solar Fees
A lawsuit challenging the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) December 2014 decision to impose new fees on We energies customers that generate their own solar energy was filed January 22, 2015. The utility framed the solar charge to the PSC as a fairness issue contending that nonsolar customers subsidize customers with solar installations. The appeal challenges the lack of supporting evidence for that claim and thus, for the new charges and for discrimination against solar and low usage customers. RENEW Wisconsin, a nonprofit renewable energy advocacy and education organization based in Madison, and The Alliance for Solar Choice – a national rooftop solar advocacy group founded by large rooftop solar companies, filed the appeal in Dane County Circuit Court. To read more JS; to hear both sides, listen to a UW-Extension webinar, for background articles read here and here.

Tax Time – File for Solar Investment Tax Credit
Homeowners and businesses who purchased a rooftop solar electric or solar hot water system in 2014 or, businesses that provided a system through a lease to a third party, can reduce their taxes by 30 percent of the total cost of their system through the Federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Solar systems financed through PACE programs like in Milwaukee, are eligible as well. Total cost includes the system, installation and related work like wiring and related roofing modifications. There is no cap. Use IRS Form #5695. For those homeowners considering a solar installation, the solar credit is available through 2016 only. The solar ITC goes down to 10 percent for businesses in 2017. Gather your invoices, add them up, and check with your installer and tax preparer for more specific assistance.

Going Solar in America: Solar is Cheaper than the Grid in 42 Cities
“…in 46 of America’s 50 largest cities, a fully-financed, typically-sized solar PV system (5kW) is a better investment than the stock market, and in 42 of these cities, the same system already costs less than energy from a residential customer’s local utility” according to an analysis by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center of NC State. Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Chicago are among the cities. The Going Solar in America study, supported by a USDOE SunShot grant, ICLEI and International City/County Management Association (ICMA), reports that, “of the single-family homeowners in America’s 50 largest cities, …9.1 million already live in a city where solar costs less than their current utility rates if they bought a PV system outright – and nearly 21 million (93% of all estimated single-family homeowners in those cities) do if low-cost financing is available”. Considering forecasts by the US Energy Information Administration, that utility rates will rise between 33%-83% over the 25-year typical life of a solar PV system, the study’s conclusion is that average homeowners can save monthly and enjoy long-term investment value by installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Also, see Utility Dive

Cities Powered by 100% Renewable Energy
Municipalities across the US are working to generate all of their electricity from renewable energy. Burlington, Vermont (pop. 42,284) is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. The city achieved this after recently purchasing a 7.4 MW hydroelectric facility in September 2014. Burlington generates approximately 20 percent of its electricity from wind and solar, 33 percent from woody biomass waste, and about 45 percent from hydropower. Burlington’s efforts coincide with Vermont’s overall goal of generating 90 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050. For more information on Burlington, VT
Two other municipalities are fully powered by renewable energy, Scituate, MA (pop. 17,863) and Greensburg, KS (pop. 785). A 3 MW solar array and a 1.5 MW wind turbine have powered Scituate since 2013. In Greensburg, a 12.5 MW wind farm more than powers the city that was rebuilt for resiliency after tornado decimation. All buildings are LEED platinum that use 40 percent less energy than a code building. Aspen, Colorado is currently at 86 percent local renewable energy with a goal to be 100 percent renewable powered by the end of 2015. For more information on Scituate, MA, Greensburg, KS, and Aspen, CO

United States Leads World in Wind Energy Production
The United States produces more wind energy than any other country, leading China, Spain, and Germany. Although China leads the U.S. in installed wind capacity with over 90,000 MW, compared to 60,000 MW in the U.S., the U.S. generated 167 billion kWh of electricity or greater than 20 percent more wind energy than China. For more information

Super Bowl XLIX Powered by Clean and Efficient Energy
Super Bowl XLIX, at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, was powered by 100% renewable energy and was the first Super Bowl to be played under LED lights. Although University of Phoenix Stadium does not have any on-site solar or wind power resources, local utility Salt River Project (SRP) purchased renewable energy credits from wind farms equal to the estimated $300,000 in electricity demand generated by all Super Bowl events. The stadium also replaced the original lighting system with 312 LED fixtures, which reduced the overall lighting energy consumption by 75 percent. Additionally, the teams that played in the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, rank fifth and sixth in installed solar capacity among all sports franchises. For more information


Focus on Energy Renewable Incentives
The Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive Program (RECIP) Request for Proposals (RFP) is posted on the Focus websiteA recording of the pre-bid webinar, which includes an overview of RECIP, answers submitted questions, and reviews RECIP evaluation criteria and application process can be found here. Proposals are due March 20, 2015 by 5:00pm. Award notifications will be made April 17, 2015.

DOE's Energy Technology Research Funds
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) has $125 million to fund transformational research aimed at the development of high‐potential, high‐impact technologies in all areas of energy research and development. Proposed technologies must be close to but not quite ready for private‐sector investment. ARPA-E focuses on technologies that can be meaningfully advanced with a modest investment over a defined period of time in order to catalyze the translation from scientific discovery to early‐stage technology.
Notices of intent are due February 20, 2015 and applications are due February 27, 2015. Send questions to ARPA‐E‐ by February 20, 2015. For more information see the full solicitation at Learn more about the projects currently funded by ARPA-E here.

REAP Funding for the 2015 Fiscal Year
The Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is accepting applications for funding for the upcoming 2015 fiscal year. REAP offers cost-share grants and loan guarantees to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency improvement or renewable energy development projects. The maximum grant is 25% of the total project costs. Approximately $210,00 will be available in Wisconsin for grant requests of $20,000 and less; and $1.45 million for grants greater than $20,000. Application deadlines are April 30, 2015 and June 30, 2015. For more information and to apply 

A recording of the REAP National Stakeholder Forum webinar can be accessed here. Login with your email address or register to view the recording.

Three REAP Round-Ups (training webinars) for the public and potential applicants will be accessible via the web or telephone. REAP Round-Ups will be held on February 18, 2015, March 11, 2015, and April 2, 2015.

USDA’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program
The Rural Utility Service’s (RUS) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Loan Program (EECLP), managed by the USDA, is a new program with $250 million for direct loans to rural electric cooperatives and other rural electricity providers. EECLP supports energy efficiency, demand side management, and renewable energy generation. Electricity providers can re-loan funds to residential and commercial customers to make energy efficiency improvements. Customers would then repay the loan through on-bill financing. EECLP can assist with roof top solar systems as well. For more information 

DOE Loan Guarantees for Innovative Renewable Energy
The Department of Energy has $4 billion available in federal loan guarantees for innovative renewable energy projects. Eligible projects must employ an innovative technology for renewable energy, efficient electricity generation, transmission or distribution, or energy-efficient end use. The project must also avoid or reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and be located in the U.S. The window for applications is from January 14, 2015 to December 30, 2015.
Recently Added Resources

Madison Gas & Electric Compressed Natural Gas Video Series
Straight Talk about CNG, released January 2015 by MG&E, is a video series aimed to inform businesses about performance, safety, availability, and maintenance of compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG). 

Solar Power on the Rise: The Technologies and Policies Behind a Booming Energy Sector
Solar Power on the Rise, by the Union of Concerned Scientists, 2014, details the major drivers of the rapid adoption of solar power and explores the main types of solar available to individuals, businesses, and utilities. It outlines the technical, economic, environmental, and policy aspects of small- and large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and concentrating solar power systems. Accompanying infographics detail the falling rooftop solar costs and their increasing affordability.  

Future of Solar Energy
SunEdison produced the Future of Solar Energy short 5 minute Youtube video, January 2015, that highlights solar power as a transformational technology globally. It documents the increasingly rapid uptake of solar photovoltaic systems due to lower, competitive cost of solar panels, more efficient technologies, and the practicality of distributed decentralized energy generation.

Going Solar in America: Ranking of Solar’s Value to Consumers in America’s Largest Cities
Going Solar in America, a report by NC Clean Energy Technology Center with funding from US DOE’s Sunshot grant, January 2015, analyzes energy in America’s 50 largest cities showing that solar can generate both significant monthly savings and long-term investment value. In 42 of 50 cities, solar costs less for average homeowners than energy from some of America’s largest electric utilities. (see News above)
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Contacts for Energy On Wisconsin
Sherrie Gruder 
Sustainable Design Specialist   
(608) 262-0398
Megan Levy
Director of Local Energy Programs
Wisconsin State Energy Office
(608) 266-5054

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