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Wisconsin

 

An arrow graphic shows that Wisconsin’s renewable portfolio standard is set at 10% in 2015.

Carve-out: 1600 MW by 2020 as a part of Class I renewables
Tracking system: Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (MRETS)

Investor-owned utilities (IOUs), municipal utilities, and electric cooperatives are obligated to provide a certain percentage of renewable electricity to their retail customers.  

Wisconsin’s net metering program does not cover midscale solar generation. Incentives are available through renewable energy certificates (RECs) and several state incentives.

Latest Updates

  • Wisconsin Power and Light’s residential fixed charge increased from $7.67 in 2016 to $15.00 in 2017 and 2018. This will have limited impact on small commercial customers.

Net Metering

Wisconsin offers net metering to customers of IOUs and municipal utilities for systems ≤20 kW. However, some utilities allow net metering for systems larger than 20 kW (e.g., Xcel Energy, We Energies, and Madison Gas and Electric).

Utilities may not charge customers fees in addition to minimum monthly charges that apply to other utility customers. Utilities may have other buy-back rates.

System size limit: 20 kW

Aggregate cap: None

Credit: Varies by utility

RECs: Not addressed 

Meter aggregation: Not addressed

Interconnection

Wisconsin has interconnection standards for distributed generation systems up to 15 MW. IOUs’ and municipal utilities’ compliance is mandatory, while electric cooperatives’ adaption of the standards is encouraged.

Distributed generation systems are divided into four categories under different timelines and requirements.

Eligible Systems Type of Interconnection
≤20 kW Category 1 (10 days engineering review; 10 days distribution system study; no fee)
>20 kW and ≤200 kW Category 2 (15 days engineering review; 15 days distribution system study; $250 application fee)
>200 kW and ≤1 MW Category 3 (20 days engineering review; 20 days distribution system study; $500 application fee)
>1 MW and ≤15 MW Category 4 (40 days engineering review; 60 days distribution system study; $1000 application fee)

System size limit: 15 MW

Liability insurance: Varies by system size, type, and sector

External disconnect switch: Required

Third Party Ownership

Third-party Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) are allowed in Wisconsin.

Community Solar

Wisconsin does not currently have a statewide community solar policy. A number of utilities offer community solar programs.

State Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Incentive
Commercial and Industrial Renewable Energy Loan Program Focus on Energy Program Focus on Energy will provide zero-interest loans to finance up to 50% of a renewable project’s financed cost. The loan is capped at $500,000 for commercial and industrial customers located in a participating utility.
Biogas, Solar, and Wind Energy Equipment Exemption Wisconsin Department of Revenue Any value added by solar energy systems is exempt from general property taxes.
Renewable Energy Sales Tax Exemptions Wisconsin Department of Revenue 100% sales and use tax exemption for commercial, industrial, and residential users of renewable technologies including PV.

Utility Incentive Programs

 

Utility Incentive Limitations
River Falls Municipal Utilities Renewable Energy Finance Program Loan amounts of up to $50,000 per property Residential customers

Resources

The list below provides some resources for each type of policy or program. Please reference and contact relevant authorities and local utilities for the most up-to-date and accurate information on state and utility policies and incentive programs.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Net metering and interconnection

Community solar

Programs and incentives

Other