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

From the Desk of the Executive Director – Hurricane Season Caused Tremendous Damage, Utility Workers Restored not only Power, but Faith in Communities

The fall of 2017 will be remembered as one of the worst hurricane seasons in history. Mother nature has taken her toll on Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and much of the southern United States. Decimating the power grid resulting in loss of electricity for millions. The sheer fright that these hurricanes brought to millions of our fellow countrymen was astounding. However, like we do for our friends and neighbors in times of need, many stepped up to help those who we unable to help themselves through these crises.

With the help of thousands of utility workers nationwide, many from right here in Wisconsin, power was restored to many of the areas hit hardest by the hurricanes.

We can’t control bad weather, but those who operate Wisconsin’s power grid are constantly working to ensure reliable electricity is available whenever it is needed.

However, for those who have not been in a cataclysmic weather event, what happens when weather wipes out the grid?

You lose lights, you lose television, you lose the Internet, you lose your cell phone, and you lose access to anything with a plug. But those are just the creature comforts that you initially see.

Yet, matters become serious quickly. No electricity means no access to fresh water. We need electricity to move water through the pumps that bring it to our homes and businesses.

No electricity means that the motor on our major appliances like out refrigerator and freezer has stopped. If one keeps the doors closed the refrigerator has 4 hours and the freezer has 24 hours before they quit keeping things cold.

What if gets really cold or really hot outside? Trouble starts there too. Clearly access to reliable electricity controls the furnace in our homes. But, many are unaware that air conditioning has special electricity requirements that necessitate the use of the electric grid.

At FRWD we like to say, The Wisconsin Power Grid – ready when you are.

Thankfully, utility workers are trained and on hand when events happen and work around the clock to restore power and stability to the grid.

Best,

Mark Meyer
Executive Director
Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland

Rate Freeze Brings 2 years of Relief for Utility Customers

This fall, the Public Service Commission approved of a two-year rate freeze agreement with Wisconsin Energies’ and Wisconsin Public Service’s ratepayers.

Why is this important? To start, it is a rate FREEZE. This is the opposite of what you are used to hearing about. When a energy provider approaches the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to request a change in their rates it is almost always to increase their rates – not to freeze them.

This action is will have a broad reaching impact nearly 3 million Wisconsin residents.  The combined services territories of the two utilities cover roughly two-thirds of the state.  The freeze will also impact a large number of industrial and commercial customers, which are found in a greater concentration in this part of our state.

It also means that in two years, customers benefiting from the freeze will have seen six years of small or no increase in the rate on their electric bill.

To put this in context, one of the the last rate freezes by a major utility in the state of Wisconsin was by Alliant Energy in 2010.

What is it? Under the approved plan, electric rates excluding increases in fuel costs, will be frozen for the next two years. Historically if these adjustments for fuel are made they are small. The price of natural gas will be the driver in this review.

This two-year rate freeze also helps establish new real time pricing tariffs for large industrial customers and is being extended and expanded to include real time pricing tariffs for not only existing, but new customers as well. In essence, this agreement creates a better footing for ratepayers and the utility to work together in ensuring that customers are not being over charged, and that the utility is being as effective as possible with ratepayer dollars.

It is few and far between that a utility company seems to get good press in the state of Wisconsin. This rate freeze has allowed the media, as well as the public; to see We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service are putting their customers needs first.

At FRWD, we applaud the rate freeze, and look forward to continued interaction between the Badger State’s utility companies, large and small, and the customers they serve.

The Wisconsin River and Hydroelectric Power

The Hardest Working River in America. That is a bold statement, and it has been made over and over again about the Badger State’s Wisconsin River.

While many in the past would have put forth the idea that the hardest working river in America could have been either the Mississippi or Missouri rivers, due to commerce uses. The fact of the matter is that those two rivers pale in comparison to the power produced by the Wisconsin River. Thus making the Wisconsin River, America’s truly hardest working river.

With an annual output of nearly one billion kilowatt hours of electricity, The Wisconsin River stretches from Northeast Wisconsin at the border with the UP to Prairie du Chien at the river’s mouth on the Mississippi River. The 25 hydroelectric plants that dot the shores of the Wisconsin River provide enough energy to provide for the residential needs of more than 300,000 people.  To put that into prospective that would nearly cover all of the home electrical needs for every resident of Madison and Green Bay combined.

… The Wisconsin River generates nearly One Billion kilowatt hours of of electricity each year… 

As a natural resource, the Wisconsin River is continually giving back to the people who appreciate her majesty. Along her route the river drops nearly 650 feet, and in that drop the electric power is born for the people of Wisconsin. The dams that harness the power range in height from 12.5 feet at the Otter Rapids station just west of Eagle River to 92 feet at the Grandfather Station between Tomahawk and Merrill which are both owned by Wisconsin Public Service.  At 31 MW the largest generator on the Wisconsin River is near Prairie du Sac and owned by Alliant Energy.

The hydroelectric plants that ensure the continued harnessing of the world’s leading source of renewable energy are generally owned and operated by public utilities, which is to be expected in Wisconsin. However, paper mills that reside on the 420 miles of the river’s shoreline own a large number of the plants as well. By utilizing the river for paper production as well as for their electrical needs, these companies have helped increase the use of hydroelectric power, while also ensuring that grid stabilization is in place by using less of other forms of electricity that many of their neighbors utilize.  Some of the electricity is sold other energy suppliers.

While Wisconsin utilities are on the leading edge of understanding and utilizing renewable energy resources, it is amazing that the largest producer of renewable energy in our state comes from the hardest working river in the United States, and has provided reliable energy for decades. By producing more than one billion kilowatt hours of usable energy, the Wisconsin River has, and will continue, to be a monument to proper resource usage that is not only beautiful to witness, but helps keep the lights on for people throughout the region.

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.

https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=31632

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.

https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_1_17_b

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 www.fairwisconsinrates.com.

Best,

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

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

From the desk of the Executive Director

Welcome to the inaugural edition of FRWD’s newsletter. Going forward, pun intended, we plan to reach out to you, your friends, and neighbors, to help get engaged in Wisconsin’s energy discussion. As an organization, we are look toward the needs of the ratepayers of Wisconsin and work within the energy community to ensure that you, as an end user of energy, are afforded the best access to the source of warmth in the winter, cool air in the summer, and light whenever you need it. And we advocate on your behalf to ensure the best possible price for your energy needs.

FRWD looks at the energy discussions of the day with an eye on the future and how access to reliable, affordable energy is brought to you, the consumer.

With that in mind, do you know what the greatest invention in the history of mankind is?

Is it the automobile? The airplane? The telephone? The computer? The short answer to all of these questions is a simple one: no.

The answer is is Electrification. Don’t take my word for it. The National Academy of Engineering named Electrification as the “The Greatest Engineering Achievement of the 20th Century” and called it the “workhorse of the modern world”.

Here at home, the Wisconsin Power Grid brings safe, reliable, and affordable energy to 2.3 Million homes and 400,000 businesses statewide.

It is available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, all at the flip of a switch. It also comes in the quantity you want. Whether you need a little to charge your phone or a lot to run your air conditioner the Wisconsin power grid delivers what you need when you need it, without fail.

So what? This all seems fairly obvious.

While it may be obvious, it is now a deeply involved conversation about how electricity is generated and delivered to your home or business. There has never been a greater focus on how energy is generated and brought to the plug in your wall than there is today. This ongoing discussion is vitally important as our grid evolves to ensure that we do not lose sight of what many take for granted.

FWRD is committed to making sure that whatever changes are made involving the Wisconsin electric grid continue to ensure that it brings electricity to our doorsteps when we want it, and in the amounts we want to use, and at a price that we have paid for fairly.

At FRWD, we look forward to a robust 2017. We pledge to continue spreading the vital message of the importance of the grid and the stability that it brings to families and businesses throughout Wisconsin.

Thank you for taking the time to read our first 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 www.fairwisconsinrates.com.

Best,

Mark Meyer
Executive Director
Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland

Solar Power in Wisconsin – Adding to the Mix
2016 proved to be a banner year for solar power activity in the Badger state. As more and more ratepayer would like to see an increase in their control over the energy that they consume, there has been an uptick in both residential and industrial solar build out in the past year.

Most notably the there have been larger scale development projects that have began either adding to solar arrays in the state or have come into existence through ground breaking projects in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin’s energy providers have heard the call from their customers and they have begun to spend resources to help their customer base purchase the power that they would like to run their homes and their lives.

For instance, in the spring of 2016 Alliant Energy finished the construction of their energy-learning lad with a number of small solar arrays, several electric vehicle charging stations as well as an energy battery storage system at their Madison headquarters. This in addition to the groundbreaking of the 2-megawatt solar facility that will help run the auxiliary power at the Riverside Energy Center Expansion project in Beloit.

Also, NextEra has announced that they will be building a 100-megawatt solar array in northern Wisconsin and Sun Prairie’s WPPI stated that it is in the midst of contacts to purchase all of the power generated for by that installation for the next 20 years.

Couple this with the announcements last year of initiatives by several municipal utilities for local solar community gardens and we can see why ratepayers in Wisconsin are excited by the growth and opportunity for solar power here at home.

There is an all-time high for the amount of electricity created by solar power, and while it is not enough maintain a secure and reliable grid 24 hours a day, it is a step in the right direction to increase the awareness for renewable energy and how it can work hand in hand with traditional energy resources in the Badger State.

Wisconsin’s utilities have been spending a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources listening to their customer base and are finding new and innovative ways to increase the access to renewable energy while also maintaining the ratepayer’s link to a reliable grid.

With 2016 now behind us, the future in Wisconsin is on a fantastic trajectory to find new and innovative ways to bring customers access to they types of energy they desire.

A Strong Grid, A Strong Workforce, A Stronger Tomorrow
Much like manufacturing, the field of utility work has grown and dramatically changed in the last fifty years.

It used to be that an able bodied person could start work with their local utility fresh out of college, and some time straight out of high school and have a job for life.

Unfortunately those days are behind us, and a new age is upon us. The work force is constantly changing and the typical individual that is a member of today’s growing workforce will work between nine to eleven full time career jobs in their adult life.

What once was unheard of is now commonplace. Like the rest of the economy and today’s more plugged in society, it is time for the utility workforce to evolve, grow, and change with the times.

Life is more faced paced, and our need for access to strong and reliable energy is greater today that it was even 15 years ago.

This is why the marketplace for utility workers is ever changing and adapting to the daily rigors of this ever-changing field continues.

Currently, thousands of people are employed at Wisconsin’s utility companies. Those people are more tuned into to their jobs today, they are more attached to what that job means and how it is directly attached to the state’s budding economy.

People have always taken pride in their work, but the near constant upkeep and construction throughout the state to ensure the stability of our power grid has taken this a step beyond what is to be expected.

Today’s utility workers are plugged into the regulatory atmosphere of what they do, they are plugged in to how the hard work they do every day on the job keeps the lights on and engages the economic engine of the Badger state.

Today’s new utility employees have environmentally conscious, they know exactly what their environmental foot print is, and they know that the work they do today will provide for a cleaner world tomorrow. They know that the all on the table approach toward energy in Wisconsin helps fuel today’s needs while also provides for a new way to look at energy tomorrow.

Utility workers today provide for a vibrant economy while ensuring access to reliable power on a daily basis.

Gone are the days of yesteryear, where one could learn a trade on the job. The workers of today have spent countless hours in classrooms from high schools, to tech colleges, to university lecture halls in order to hone their craft and help make their jobs and immeasurable part of not only our economy, but our communities.

Our lights are on because the utility workers of Wisconsin ensure that they stay on. They have and will continue to be the true muscle behind the engine that makes Wisconsin work, day or night.

Make sure to watch our latest video, below, on the importance of the grid, and how we in Wisconsin rely on it every single day. 

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

Stevens Point Journal – Pour these 6 ‘green’ Wisconsin beers with pride
Green-dyed beer on St. Patrick’s Day? Yeah, I confess to having quaffed a pint or two in my younger days. I’m not proud of it.

La Crosse Tribune – Dairyland Power wind agreement boosts renewable portfolio
Dairyland Power is adding 80 megawatts of wind energy, a significant step toward reducing the La Crosse, Wis.-based utility’s reliance on fossil fuels.

WFRV News 5 (Green Bay) – Wisconsin’s largest solar power plant to be built in Manitowoc County
Two Rivers and the surrounding area prides themselves on diversifying clean renewable energy and with plans for the largest solar farm in the state of Wisconsin Manitowoc County is becoming a power house in green energy.

Breaking Energy – SolarCity and Tesla – Was It Worth It?
Whether or not SolarCity was a good investment on the part of Tesla has been of speculation late as the company released its latest quarterly report.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – New Upper Peninsula utility to be formed by We Energies, WPS
Wisconsin utility customers won’t have to contribute toward the $255 million price tag to expand the supply of electricity for iron-ore mines, other businesses and homes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Associated Press – Wisconsin has most successful year for solar power in 2016
New data show that the Wisconsin solar industry saw its most active year of development as it was boosted by a major investment in solar by Dairyland Power Cooperative, other utilities and Target Stores Inc., as well as projects around the state.

Wisconsin Public Radio – As state plans for more digesters, questions pile up
It looks like Wisconsin will be counting on more animal waste digesters to handle the growing amount of cow manure at large dairy farms. The state’s Public Service Commission recently authorized spending up to $20 million in utility ratepayer money on the large waste-to-energy units.

Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland Coalition Applauds PSC For Getting Rates Right

(Madison, WI) – The Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland (FRWD) coalition applauds the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSCW) for today’s responsible vote to allow Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPSC) to gradually adjust electric rates to reduce subsidies and reflect actual costs to consumers and-calling for more study on the issue.

Mark Meyer, FRWD executive director and former PSC commissioner, testified earlier this year as an intervener on behalf of the coalition in support of WPSC’s request.

“With actual customer fixed costs approaching $70 per month, today’s vote for a $2 increase in the Customer Charge moves rates in a direction that reduces the subsidies that currently exist between high and low users of electricity,” Meyer said.

The fixed cost for a residential customer is $68.61 per month, Meyer noted. “The increase from $19 to $21 moves rates closer to the actual cost of service. Matching actual costs with charges on the bill makes sense,” Meyer added.

“It should be noted that this increase is revenue neutral. Increases in the customer charge, when offset with reductions in the energy use portion of the customers should have little impact on most customers.”

FRWD is a non-profit statewide coalition that brings together representatives of organized labor with large and small energy providers and consumers. It was created, in part, to educate people on the value our electric system brings to Wisconsin’s customers, and to promote the health and welfare of a system that is often taken for granted.

“As part of that education process, FRWD believes fair and equitable funding for maintenance and any necessary expansion of the system is critical” Meyer said. “We definitely welcome the opportunity to participate in this important dialogue in the future through the PSCW study.”

FRWD Media Release (PDF)

Appreciate Electricity!

Hottest summer days prove energy is provided when & where you need it

(Madison, WI) – Heading through the ‘dog days of summer,’ air conditioning units throughout Wisconsin are working overtime, keeping families, offices, hospitals, stores and manufacturing facilities cool and comfortable.

It’s days like this we need to be aware of how important our system of energy generation is to our state according to Mark Meyer of Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland (FRWD).

“Our integrated energy grid, built and maintained by utilities and their workers, is integral to our state, especially on hot days like today when the AC is on full blast,” says Meyer, executive director of FRWD. “Our system provides the extra power large appliances need at the time they are turned on and keeps us cool 24/7. This is extremely important to homeowners, and business owners all over Wisconsin.”

“With a forecast of 88-­‐ degrees and thermostat’s set to HIGH and COOL – today is a day we need to appreciate the strength and reliability of the system Wisconsin residents have invested in as it delivers to customers the amount of electricity they need, when they need it.”

Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland (FRWD) brings together representatives of organized labor with large and small energy providers and consumers to promote the significant value our current electric system delivers, champion equitable funding, and lead the discussion on integrating distributed generation into Wisconsin’s electric infrastructure.

Our electric system delivers great value to Wisconsin customers, something that too often is taken for granted. FRWD stands strong in support of the continued health and welfare of a system that has served us well.

FRWD will also advocate for the hard-­‐working men and women who build, operate, and maintain the electric system, and for workers whose jobs and livelihood depend on reliable electricity.

We are committed to working with all stakeholders in this discussion, including environmentalists, businesses, farmers, regulators and energy providers, with a goal of developing policies that promote balance and fairness.

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Statewide Coalition Formed to Promote Value of Electric System and Merits of Distributed Generation

Former Wisconsin Public Service Commissioner to head the group

(Madison, WI) – A new statewide coalition has been formed to promote the significant value our current electric system delivers, champion equitable funding, and join the discussion on integrating distributed generation into Wisconsin’s electric infrastructure.

Fair Rates for Wisconsin’s Dairyland, Inc., (FRWD) will bring together representatives of organized labor with large and small energy providers and consumers.

Former state legislator and Public Service Commissioner Mark Meyer will serve as executive director of the registered, non-profit Wisconsin corporation. Jim Brooks of Evansville and Robert Turner of Milwaukee will join Meyer on the Board of Directors. Brooks sits on the Evansville City Council and Turner serves as a business representative for IBEW Local 494. Brooks brings a background in municipal and public utility policy while Turner has 17 years of experience working in the electrical construction industry.

“One of our goals is to highlight the great value our electric system delivers to Wisconsin customers, something that too often is taken for granted,” Meyer said. “FRWD will stand strong in support of the continued health and welfare of a system that has served us well.”

The world of electricity is facing dynamic and innovative change, Meyer noted, and FRWD is excited to join the discussion about the value of our electric system and merits of distributed generation.

Distributed generation refers to power that is produced outside the grid by homes and businesses. The small-scale, on-site power sources at or near customers’ homes or businesses are usually located on the customer side of the electric meter. Power structures include rooftop solar panels, energy storage devices, fuel cells, bio-digesters, micro-turbines, small wind turbines, and combined heat and power systems.

Improvements in technology, efficiency and economics make it clear distributed generation will be a larger part of the electric system that brings power to Wisconsin homes and businesses, Meyer said.

“FRWD supports the long-term competitiveness of our state’s economy, and we will work to help policy makers recognize that when distributed resources are integrated into our current system they should be paid for in a manner that is fair to all ratepayers,” Meyer added.

“FRWD also will advocate for the hard-working men and women who build, operate, and maintain the electric system, and for workers whose jobs and livelihood depend on reliable electricity.”

According to Meyer FRWD is committed to working with all stakeholders in this discussion, including environmentalists, businesses, farmers, regulators and energy providers, with a goal of developing policies that promote balance and fairness.

FRWD supports the long-term competitiveness of Wisconsin’s economy, and will work to help policy makers recognize that when distributed resources are integrated into Wisconsin’s current system the energy should be paid for in a manner that is fair to all ratepayers. It is FRWD’s mission to promote the value of Wisconsin’s electric system, champion equitable funding and lead the discussion about the thoughtful integration of distributed generation into Wisconsin’s electrical infrastructure system. Visit us on the web at www.fairwisconsinrates.com

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