SOUL Meeting, Thurs., October 21, 6:30 pm
Physical meeting at Organic Valley Headquarters in La Farge to discuss the La Farge Community Solar, state lobbying, Cardinal Hickory Creek and Mark Twain projects underway. Directions and location
Solar Profitability and Wisconsin Utilities
Record utility debt and certain rate increases in coming years insure substantial savings from fixing your electricity costs with solar. Article, and comparison of 30 years savings across Wisconsin utilities. Ask for a personal savings calculator for Wisconsin utilities.
20th Century Utility Assumptions Failing Ratepayers in 21st Century
A must read article by David Roberts explaining causes for skyrocketing cost increases and unwitting liabilities utilities are bringing upon electric customers as they refuse to embrace cost-effective solutions. A companion article by Roberts' provides an overview of New York State's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program in which the NY PSC ordered utilities to apply $200,000 towards energy efficiency, local power and load management instead of spending $1 billion upgrading an older substation. 3rd, related article.
Proposed Legislation Would Lower Wisconsin's Water Table Standards
Senate Bill 291 would reduce protections for deep wells and cumulative effects from multiple wells number of wells by creating â€œforever permitsâ€ of high capacity wells. removing well monitoring conditions and other ill advised actions described here. Email Senator Robert Cowles, Chair, Natural Resources and Energy Committee and ask that provisions within Sen. Miller's legislation, SB72 and Rep. Mason's AB105 to create modern standards used in neighboring states be incorporated into his bill. Copy of your letter to your state lawmakers.
Innovative Volunteer Efficiency Efforts Underway in Upper Michigan
While Upper Michigan is being hit with scorching electricity cost increases, energy hero Melissa Davis is writing and receiving grants to help pay for materials so that volunteers can winterize at least 186 area homes. Davis's New Power Tour Project is is also developing plans for multiple 1.4 MW woody biomass generation plants in the region.
Wisconsin County Health Board Rules Wind Farm a â€˜Health Hazardâ€™
Low frequency induced nausea and sleep interference associated with wind turbines south of Green Bay are further materializing in Brown County WI. The County Health Board is considering pursuing removal of the turbines as one possible solution.
California Grid Operators Eye Bundled Distributed Energy Sources for Wholesale Market
Under the CAISO draft final plan companies including utilities will be able to purchase and consolidate the output of rooftop solar systems, batteries, and plug-in electric vehicles from multiple homes and commercial power systems to a bundle baseline capacity that can sold into the electricity market. The development is expected to allow DER's to have a greater role in meeting the stateâ€™s energy needs and is seen as a critical advance in rooftop solar and solar plus storage system economics.
Tell your U.S. Senators to Support the Extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit
The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) and The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) have created tools to help you ask your U.S. Senators to support an extension of the Investment Tax Credit for solar installations as part of upcoming tax extendersâ€™ legislation. John Farrell of the Institute of Local Self Reliance has written a comprehensive article about the SITC.
Maryland approves nation's highest energy efficiency standard
Maryland utilities had proposed cutting power usage from 0.7% to 1.7% per year, but state regulators decided to expand the Empower Maryland program, upping conservation to 2% per year. The Chesapeake Climate Action Network( CCAN) said the new rules would require utilities to save over 1.2 million MWh annually, or about the same as closing a 460 MW coal-fired plant every two years. The American Council on an Energy Efficiency Economy,(ACEEE) says new efficiency target is the highest in the nation. Wisconsin's current energy efficiency program taps less than 25% of theses conservation goals. See Utility Dive article.
Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance Halts Unaccountable Transmission Expansion Proposal
The Rock Island Clean Line that would impact 16 counties in Iowa is effectively "on hold." Iowa Governor Branstad is acknowledging that there are major land use obstacles for the privately owned project and that deceasing demand for power across the country is lowering demand for utility expansion projects. "[RICL] is a very controversial issue and obviously we prefer to have these things resolved between the land owner and whoever the utility might be without the use of eminent domain ... I don't think there's an easy answer to it." For more information, contact The Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance
Beehive Design Collective - October 25, Gays Mills, WI
Bring the whole family to a compelling presentation of artwork and storytelling entitled, "Rock Bottom in the Age of Extreme Resource Extraction," by the famed Beehive Design Collective from 3-5 pm at 212 Main Street. Event sponsored by the Crawford Stewardship Project. Call 608.632.2183 or email Forest Jahnke for more information.
Save the Hills Alliance - 4th Annual Meeting & Event Sat., Nov. 7, Menomonie, WI
Science-based presentations concerning native prairie habitat, farmland, and forest restoration and reclamation with Dan Masterpole, Kathy Denning, and Katie Himanga. introduced and moderated by Dave Carlson of the TV series, "Northland Adventure. To be held at the Veterans Center of Menomonie, E4710 County Road BB. from 1pm to 4pm. For more information and to register, contact Save the Hills Alliance at 877.353.4976 or AllianceSaveTheHills.email@example.com .
CARS, Citizens for Rail Safety Await Judge's Ruling
Earlier this year, nine citizens concerned about the proposed expansion of rail lines carrying crude oil through the Upper Mississippi River Basin filed a legal challenge to the Wisconsin DNRâ€™s decision to issue a wetland fill and bridge permit to BNSF Railway. The suit says the DNRâ€™s environmental analysis of the project didnâ€™t comply with state law and asks the court to reverse the DNRâ€™s decision. With four state chapters and alliances with Minnesota and Iowa citizen and governmental groups, CARS has gained the support of US Senator Tammy Baldwin and is working on further governmental actions. For more information about the law suit, meetings and action you can take, visit CARS.
Madison, WI Area Actions: Enbridge Line 61, Tar Sands, Regressive Madison Gas & Electric Rate Changes
Attend upcoming meetings and calls of the Madison area chapters of 350.org and Citizens Climate Lobby in addressing concerns about tar sand pipelines in Wisconsin and climate change. 350.org will meet Mon., November 2 at Friends Meeting House, 1704 Roberts Ct. The Citizen's Climate Lobby holds informative weekly phone calls about their activities. Members of another local group. RePower are holding community discussions with Madison Gas and Electric about improving their renewable energy and energy efficiency offerings to area electric customers. Visit this site to learn about actions you can take to stop the utility's backwards rate structure proposal before the PSC.
Advancing Sustainable Living Courses - Echo Valley Hope
Free workshops and classes are being offered concerning a variety of sustainable practices as well with ongoing community conversations about peace making and organic farming opportunities through the WWOOF project. The public is invited to the next peace conversation, "Changing Our Story" on November 14 at the Echo Valley Farm near Onatrio, WI. Visit Echo Valley Hope's events page for more information.