Wisconsin folks, call your legislators! Support this bill!

https://legis.wisconsin.gov/

Why? Wisconsin has a “brownfield” bill, but Public Service Commissioners IGNORE the requirement that energy infrastructure be built on brownfields:

Wis. Stat. §196.491(3)(d)8:

(d) Except as provided under par. (e), the commission shall approve an application filed under par. (a) 1. for a certificate of public convenience and necessity only if the commission determines all of the following:

8. For a large electric generating facility, brownfields, as defined in s. 238.13 (1) (a), are used to the extent practicable.

Despite this clear requirement, they acknowledge it, laugh about it, and dismiss it without consideration, and instead site on prime and protected agricultural land.

So YES! This, something I’ve been advocating for, for YEARS!

A conceptual solar canal.

Why did it take so long for this to arrive here in the U.S., it took many years, and a release of a study pointing out the siting and efficiency advantages. Parking this here for future reference!

Why India’s Canals Could Help Fast-Forward Its Solar-Energy Plans

“Not only do they perform more efficiently, but because we can assume that the generated electricity is utilised in nearby areas, the transmission losses of (normally) 4% and distribution losses of 3% are avoided,” said Sagarkumar Agravat, head of GERMI’s solar research and development.

Apart from this, since the panels are placed on top of water, they are cooled from below, which also increases their efficiency and enhances output by 2.5-5%.

Renewable future: Gujarat govt to set up 100 MW solar power project atop Narmada canal

The ‘solar canals’ making smart use of India’s space

Overall, Gujarat has more than 80,000km of canals meandering through the state. According to Gujarat State Electricity Corporation, if 30% of this were converted to solar, 18,000MW of power could be produced, saving 90,000 acres of land.

This is not a new idea, a demonstration canal project was built in India in 2012:

Gujarat’s solar panels over canals project is a great idea for sustainable energy production

And almost a decade later, in California:

Study looks at covering California’s canals with solar panels

And the study:

Energy and water co-benefits from covering canals with solar panels

And in Popular Science:

Solar panels and water canals could form a real power couple in California

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has issued its Final Order for Grant County Solar:

Printing… 20 days to ruminate and digest and out with a Petition for Rehearing.

An indication of how absurd this decision is:

And this, where again they blow off the statute:

The Grant County Solar project docket proceeding at the Wisconsin Public Utilities Commission is moving towards a Commission decision. Yesterday, our Reply Briefs were due:

And the Initial Briefs:

Next step in the 9804-CE-100 docket, the Decision Matrix, which we comment on. The PSC should release that soon, it’s usually right after briefing.

For the PSC’s 9804-CE-100 Grant County Solar docket, GO HERE!

For the Wisconsin Power & Light docket umbrella over SIX solar projects, including Grant County Solar, 6680-CE-182, GO HERE! We filed a non-party brief in this docket – intervention was denied:

Whew, time to take a breather. We had two briefs due at 1:30 p.m. today, and got them filed with 1/2 hour to spare! Let’s hear it for the power of Doritos! (Only way I got through Contracts and Corporations in law school was a two-fisted supply of Doritos and Haagen Dazs)

Here are our Grant County Intervenor briefs. Here’s the one for the Grant County Solar docket focusing on the CPCN application for that one project, followed by Applicant-Grant County Solar/NextEra:

And our non-party brief in the WP&L acquisition docket for SIX solar projects covering over 5,400 acres, followed by the others:

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