During its twelfth annual Renewable Energy Summit, RENEW Wisconsin, with presenting sponsors greenpenny and Invenergy, will honor individuals and businesses who have made significant and lasting advances in clean energy development in Wisconsin. The Summit will take place Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Monona Terrace in Madison.
RENEW’s 2023 Summit, titled “Sizing Up the Clean Energy Transformation,” will take a close look at the forces unleashed by the Inflation Reduction Act, the most important climate action ever undertaken by the federal government, and assess the impact of this landmark law on Wisconsin’s energy landscape. Featured speakers include Michelle Moore, CEO of Groundswell; Jennifer Bumgarner, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs; and Wisconsin Public Service Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq.
The awards are grouped under four categories:
Clean Energy Policymaker: State Senator Robert Cowles
Clean Energy Pioneer: City of Madison
Clean Energy Warriors:Will Kenworthy, Vote Solar
Tim Lindl, Keyes and Fox
Denny Wroblewski, Northwind Solar
Josh Stolzenburg, Northwind Soar
Jim Pullen, Eagle Point Solar
Erick Shambarger, City of Milwaukee
Amy Heart, Sunrun
David Bender, EarthJustice
Nick Hylla, Midwest Renewable Energy Association
Clean Energy Honor Roll:EnTech Solutions, Middleton
Solar-powered renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility
Solar-powered school campus
Bad River Tribe (Ishkinoge Nawadide), Odanah
Solar-powered microgrid – resiliency for the reservation
Dominion Properties/Arch Solar, Shorewood
Vertical solar installation serving an office building
Dynamic Renewables/BC Organics, Greenleaf
Large-scale RNG production facility
Friends Meeting House, Madison
All-electric building tapping into onsite energy
Alliant Energy – Wood County Solar Farm, Nekoosa
Utility-scale solar generation
Clean Energy Policymaker: Senator Robert Cowles
Representing the 2nd Senate district in the Green Bay and Fox Valley area since 1987, Sen. Robert Cowles has been a dedicated and productive champion of clean energy policy throughout his Senate career. Over the years, Sen. Cowles has sought to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy through legislation that balances economic and environmental interests. Among Sen. Cowles’ accomplishments are several comprehensive bills that (1) established Wisconsin’s energy resource priorities (1994), (2) expanded the state’s utility local aids law to promote in-state renewable power (2003), and (3) safeguarded the statewide Focus on Energy program from harmful budget raids (2006). Ongoing clean energy initiatives championed by Sen. Cowles include those to allow convenience store operators to sell electricity for electric vehicle charging purposes and to clarify the legality of third-party-owned renewable energy systems built on a customer’s property to serve that customer.
Clean Energy Pioneer: City of Madison
In March 2017, Madison adopted an ambitious climate goal: to achieve 100% renewable energy and net zero carbon emissions for city operations by 2030 and communitywide by 2050. The award salutes the City for its conscientious and systematic approach to advancing local clean energy and ensuring that its investments and programs benefit the entire community. By the end of 2022, the City’s accomplishments encompassed the following:
· Installing more than 1,800 kilowatts (kW) of solar generation on its own facilities, including approximately 500 kW in 2022. Unlike other local governments, the City designs and installs most of its solar installations. This initiative also provides a platform for a solar training program aimed at underemployed and unemployed residents to better prepare them for future job opportunities in the solar marketplace.
· Partnering with Madison Gas & Electric to purchase the output from the Hermsdorf solar farm in southeast Madison. The 8 MW array went live in April 2022 and now offsets 22% of the City’s electricity usage.
· Leveraging the installation of more than 300 solar PV systems on homes and multifamily buildings through its MadiSUN program, including 64 in 2022.
· Acquiring, by the end of 2022, 85 electric vehicles, more than 150 hybrid-electric vehicles, and the first all-electric fire truck operating in the United States. The City is also testing three all-electric buses.
Clean Energy Pioneer – Warriors
The recognition ceremony will also honor businesses and individuals who, at various times, led the campaign to enable Wisconsin electricity customers to access third-party-financed renewable energy systems installed on their property. This has been a long-standing policy priority for RENEW, stretching back to 2012. After years of being stalemated at the Public Service Commission, Wisconsin’s solar industry finally received some good news. In December 2022, the Commission affirmed the legality of a private contract between a utility customer and a solar energy provider. This will allow, on a limited basis, electricity customers to access solar energy onsite through leases or service agreements, so long as the contract meets certain criteria.
The ceremony will conclude with the 2022 Clean Energy Honor Roll, in which RENEW will recognize seven clean energy projects in Wisconsin that recently commenced operation. Whether on the basis of their productivity, innovativeness, attention to detail, scale, resourcefulness, or efficacy in reducing carbon emissions, these seven projects showcase the skills and know-how Wisconsin stakeholders bring to the clean energy marketplace in the Badger State.
This annual event features an exposition hall, breakout sessions, and industry professionals discussing current and future opportunities for advancing clean energy in Wisconsin.