PSC Begins Rulemaking on Renewable Resource Credits, Declines to Promulgate Large-Scale Solar Rules

Renewable Resource Credits

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has begun rulemaking related to renewable resource credits. The proposed rule would conform Wis. Admin. Code PSC 118  to incorporate changes from a bill enacted last session (2017 Wisconsin Act 53). Act 53 changed the definition of a renewable resource to include heat that is a byproduct of a manufacturing process and add this type of heat to the renewable resource credits program. Act 53 and the subsequent rulemaking will allow electric providers to collect credits for heat that is a byproduct of a manufacturing process.

PSC has begun the rulemaking process by submitting a scope statement on the rule. Next, PSC must prepare an economic impact analysis and draft the specific language of the rule.


Large-Scale Solar Projects

 PSC also recently took up a request from two groups of petitioners asking the agency to promulgate rules for siting large-scale solar projects. The petitions included extensive lists of issues the potential PSC rules should govern, including: application requirements, property line setbacks, glare, noise, fencing, loss of property values, unintended economic consequences, health implications, etc. The petitions also asked PSC to recategorize solar projects for the purposes of environmental review by their megawatt scale.

In its open meeting on Jan. 31, PSC declined without discussion the petitions to engage in general rulemaking related to large-scale solar projects. The PSC, when reviewing and approving a specific project, may already consider many of these issues when it issues an approval, such as measures to mitigate noise and glare and to provide for fencing around a project.