Across the Grid: Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland’s July 2017 Newsletter

From the Desk of the Executive Director – Power Grid Passes Two Milestones as Both Wind and Solar Generation Continue to Grow Rapidly.

Recently released data from the United States Energy Information Administration show two remarkable statistics that tell an interesting story about the growth of solar and wind both our country and in Wisconsin. Both statistics are indicators of how renewable generation is being added to our power grid in a dramatic way.

Nationally the electricity generated by wind and solar crossed the 10% threshold for the first time in our nation’s history in March of 2017. 

Keep in mind that the ten percent is generated by wind and solar alone and does not include other sustainable generation sources like hydro, any of the “biofuels”, or any other number of new and emerging technologies. This quantifiable landmark is notable and was hardly viewed as achievable by many just a few short years ago.

Closer to home, Wisconsin experienced a 91.7% increase in solar generation in the first four months of 2017.

At the end of April in 2017 Net Generation from Solar Photovoltaic sources had increased year to date from an estimated 10,000 Megawatthours from January – April 2016 to 19,000 Megawatthours from January – April 2017. On a percentage basis, Wisconsin’s 91.7% increase compares to an average of 33.7% for our peers in EIA’s East North Central region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s power grid is changing as more renewable energy from both distributed (customer-owned) and grid-produced sources become available and abundant. As our power grid changes we at FRWD want to work with all stakeholders to ensure that a well thought out plan of action is put into place to ensure the reliability of the grid and to ensure that every last ratepayer has access to the abundant energy they need to run their daily lives.

Thank you for taking the time to read our latest newsletter, we look forward to engaging directly with you in the ongoing discussion of Wisconsin’s energy needs. Make sure you take a minute and like our Facebook page HERE.

For more about Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland, please visit our website at


Mark Meyer
Executive Director
Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland

The Wisconsin Power Grid – Ready When You Are
You may not think about it as being much more than old wooden poles and wires but today’s Wisconsin’s power grid is much more.

It’s a RELIABLE Grid – that brings you energy when you want it.  Our Wisconsin power companies rank high when compared to their peers in both number and duration of  electricity outages.

It’s also an INTEGRATED Grid – that is bringing more clean energy from the sun and wind to your home every day.

And it’s a SMART Grid – that is a dynamic, advanced energy delivery system – that uses new proven technology to bring it efficiently to your door.

The men and women who operate Wisconsin’s Power grid are committed to improving the way energy is delivered to you. And if there is ever a problem you can count them to respond quickly and efficiently to make it right.

The Wisconsin Power Grid – Ready When You Are

What day each year requires the most amount of electricity?
In Wisconsin, it is always in June, July, or August. With our somewhat mild June, is probably yet to come in 2017.

Peak demand is driven by weather. Hotter weather means greater use of air conditioning. The highest recorded non-coincident peak demand in Wisconsin was 15,105 MW in July of 2012.

On July 1 – 7 2012, Wisconsin experienced a major heat wave that eventually led to ten fatalities, buckled and cracked road surfaces, maximum heat indices nearly 115 degrees and overnight temperatures in the 70’s to lower 80’s.

By comparison, the lowest demand is found in March or October of the year and is closer to 9500 – 10000 MW.

While we have not had our peak demand day yet for 2017, we know it is coming and we can count on Wisconsin’s energy provider, and the people who operate our power grid, to stand ready to make sure that the demand is met.

Wisconsin’s Power Grid pounded by weather in an unprecedented way in 2017.  
Wisconsin’s unpredictable weather struck again in 2017. Late Spring and Early summer thunderstorms and tornados have wreaked havoc on Wisconsin, and Northern and Central Wisconsin in particular.

In series of storms over five days in early June Wisconsin Public Service Corp reported that multiple rounds of the damaging storms brought extensive damage throughout their service territory.

These storms were the largest storm events WPS has faced since its largest weather event in 2010.

Alliant Energy crews also faced damage in their service territory including repair of over 70 power poles near Livingston, Wisconsin.

When Mother Nature takes out power, it is good to know we can rely on the men and women who work tirelessly to repair our system and bring energy back to our homes and communities.

With that in mind, and with the tremendous work that the men and women who work in the field restoring power when an incident occurs, FRWD wants to offer the greatest of thanks we can to those who ensure that we have every electron we need coming directly into our homes and businesses during these unpredictable summer months.

Our energy providers worked around the clock and brought in crews to help with restoration. Some of these workers faced extreme weather conditions and 16 hours shifts.

Thanks linemen!

The combination of water and electricity is a dangerous one
Follow these summer safety tips from the Energy Education Council at the University of Illinois. For safety outdoors, Safe Electricity recommends that children and adults follow these rules:

Stay away from electrical equipment on the ground and overhead. Never climb a utility pole or tower. Don’t play on or around electrical equipment. Electrical power poles and utility equipment should never be used as a playground.

Never climb trees near power lines. Even if the power lines aren’t touching the tree, they could touch when more weight is added to the branch.

Fly kites and model airplanes safely away from trees and overhead power lines. If a kite gets tangled in a tree that’s near power lines, don’t climb up to get it. Contact your electric utility for assistance.

Never go into an electric substation. Electric substations contain high-voltage equipment, which can kill you. Don’t retrieve a toy or rescue a pet that goes inside. Call your electric utility instead.

Look up and around you. Always be aware of the location of power lines, particularly when using long metal tools like ladders and pool skimmers.

Water and electricity never mix! Keep electronics like radios away from pools and hot tubs, and watch for overhead power lines when cleaning pools, sailing or fishing. Never install pools underneath or near power lines.

Never touch an electrical appliance if you are wet; always dry off completely.

Keep utility and emergency numbers close at hand in case an emergency arises.

For more summer safety tips, click HERE

What We Are Reading
Keeping an eye on energy and industry news throughout Wisconsin and beyond

We Energies parent will cut coal emissions despite Trump order

Average electricity prices globally in 2015, by select country 

Alliant Energy Issues RFP for 200 MW of Wind in Wisconsin

Eicke Weber: Trump’s border wall could host 5 GW of PV capacity

Distributed Generation of Electricity and its Environmental Impacts

Largest producers of CO2 emissions worldwide in 2016, based on their share of global CO2 emissions

California invested heavily in solar power. Now there’s so much that other states are sometimes paid to take it

Major solar energy project slated for Wisconsin; Sun Prairie’s WPPI Energy to buy the power

Wind, solar produce 10 percent of US electricity for first time

Wisconsin power line pits green interests against each other

We Energies proposes rate freeze

Renewable energy grants available to nonprofits

PJM: FirstEnergy’s Ohio nukes not necessary to maintain grid reliability

The Coordination Problem: A key challenge for Smart Grids

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