MADISON, WI – RENEW Wisconsin Policy Director, Michael Vickerman, released the following statement today in response to the Alliant Energy and WEC Energy Group announcement they will delay the retirement of three of Wisconsin’s largest coal plants, Columbia Energy Center in Portage, Edgewater plant in Sheboygan County, and the South Oak Creek plant near Racine.
“This announcement underscores the risks involved in putting all of our clean energy eggs in the utilities’ basket. If Wisconsin is to have any chance of achieving the ambitious carbon reduction goals set forth by the Evers administration in 2019, we must open up the solar generation landscape to include community solar projects serving large and small customers, and let customers access solar power produced on their premises by a third party. Utility-supplied solar power will be a significant contributor to achieving carbon reductions in Wisconsin, but we need all flavors of solar power, in particular, distributed solar, to get the job done. That will require adopting new policies for providing customers with more financing options as well as facilitating customer-driven community-scale solar developments such as the recently announced Yahara Solar project in Dane County.”