November 03, 2021
Utilities make top ten list from Dept. of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Lab
WPPI Energy member utilities are again receiving national recognition from the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for their renewable energy efforts. NREL evaluated the renewable energy efforts of utilities in four categories and released lists of the top 10 utilities across the nation.
GREEN POWER PARTICIPATION RATES
The category for Green Power Participation Rates measures the percentage of customers who participate in a utility’s renewable or ‘green’ energy programs. Customers of River Falls Municipal Utilities rank third in the nation for Green Power, customers of Muscoda Utilities rank eighth nationwide, and customers of Stoughton Utilities rank tenth. Each of the utilities have made the top ten list multiple times over the past two decades.
GREEN POWER SALES RATES
Another of the NREL’s prestigious lists, this one for Green Power Sales Rates, compares the ratio of a utility’s renewable energy sales to total sales. River Falls Municipal Utilities also made this list, ranking fifth in the nation. Another WPPI Energy member utility, Waterloo Utilities, also made the list and ranks sixth.
“We’re proud of the people of River Falls for keeping our relatively small community on the map when it comes to renewable energy,” said Kevin Westhuis, utility director of River Falls Municipal Utilities. “To have so many individuals invested in a zero-carbon future is very exciting, and I hope we’re able to continue leading the way until every community in the nation runs on 100% renewable energy.”
One of the most popular programs offered to customers of WPPI Energy’s member utilities, Choose Renewable, helped the communities obtain the recognition. The program allows customers to sign up to increase their monthly bill by a few dollars, ensuring their space is powered by renewable energy such as solar, wind and biogas. A typical home can run on clean energy with the purchase of two to three blocks, with one 300 kilowatt-hour (kWh) block costing $2 per month.
Member utilities continue to add renewable energy to their overall power supply as well. In September 2021, the Point Beach Solar Energy Center came online. Located near Two Rivers, Wis., the facility features more than 315,000 solar panels with the capacity to generate 100 megawatts of electricity. WPPI Energy is purchasing the energy on behalf of member utilities, so their communities are now powered by a portion of that energy. With the addition of Point Beach Solar, the WPPI Energy membership is on track to reduce carbon dioxide emissions approximately 45% by 2025 when compared to 2005.