Letter: Clarifying FIT, a successful programI wanted to clarify a few items in the Aug. 13 Journal article, “Businesses Work the Sun.” Several references in that article were not factually correct.
By: Craig Tarr, town of Clifton, Energy Concepts owner, River Falls Journal
I wanted to clarify a few items in the Aug. 13 Journal article, “Businesses Work the Sun.” Several references in that article were not factually correct.
Wisconsin legislatively mandates that the utilities have a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) whereby 10% of their energy supply is derived from renewable energy by 2015. The mandate is enforced by the Public Service Commission (PSC).
Feed in Tariff’s (FIT) are programs that are initiated by forward thinking utilities.
The motivation to provide a FIT program with its premium buyback rate is that:
n The utility benefits by claiming the installed capacity towards their RPS.
n Avoids the need for future plant expansions.
n Power is delivered directly on the roofs for the buildings that need it.
n Energy can be resold that is produced for the utility green blocks program.
The utility provides an incentive to make the financials attractive enough for the consumer to buy the renewable energy capacity vs. the utility having to buy it.
FITs are a win-win situation. Most major utilities in Wisconsin have a FIT program of some sort.
Unfortunately, the local FIT program is fully subscribed.
For other wind or solar projects the utility buys excess energy produced at prevailing rates. This is called “net metering.” A meter is installed that measures energy both ways.
You pay monthly for the “net” amount of energy used.
The local green blocks program does not contribute to the RPS as stated in the article.
The green block program sells the power that is renewably generated at a premium for those consumers who want non-fossil fuel fired sources.
There will be a day in the not too far future that homes will implicitly have renewable energy systems no different than they have a water heater.