PSC shifts focus of Focus on EnergyThe Public Service Commission made some changes Friday to the state's Focus on Energy program for renewable energy and energy efficiency work.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Public Service Commission made some changes Friday to the state's Focus on Energy program for renewable energy and energy efficiency work.
For one thing, the commissioners gave the go-ahead to spending $8 million to cover commitments made by a previous administrator of the ratepayer-funded Focus on Energy program. The controversial Shaw Group now runs the $100 million a year effort. The PSC also shifted the mix of future spending on renewables to put more money into biogas digesters for cow, human, and food waste and biomass burners fueled by switchgrass and other plants. Keith Reopelle of the group Clean Wisconsin says there's a lot more waste out there that can be converted to power.
Reopelle says the bad news is the PSC has shifted some focus dollars away from smaller scale solar and wind energy projects. He says he still hopes state lawmakers and the PSC agree to restore focus funding that Republicans removed last year. Meanwhile a coalition of business organizations says it's happy with Friday's action. Todd Stuart of the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group says the PSC maintained and may improve on cost/benefit ratios for focus.
Stuart also says more spending on energy efficiency stands to give a better bang for the buck.