Renewables and Baseload

Meeting Base Load Needs In the Face of Carbon Constraints:
Session One:  Renewables and Base Load in the Midwest

June 5, 2009
Tong Auditorium, Engineering Centers Building
1550 Engineering Drive, Madison, WI 53706

This is the first in a series of workshops designed to explore base load options.  The second event (June 26) will explore fossil options.  The final event, July 31 will look at nuclear power.

The role for renewables in the future base load energy portfolio

9:00 Introductions

9:10        Midwest Region RPS—Renewables in the Midwest

Eric Callisto, Public Service Commission, Wisconsin

9:55 Base load and Variable Resources—

Tom Veselka, Argonne National Labs

10:40 Break

10:55 Biomass Generation in Wisconsin—a Non Variable Renewable

Peter Taglia, Clean Wisconsin

Biomass currently provides more than 50 MW of low carbon base load power in Wisconsin and many different biomass resources are available across the state to expand the contribution of biomass to Wisconsin’s electrical grid.  Existing technologies for biomass generation in Wisconsin include traditional steam electric generation and anaerobic digesters powering internal combustion engines.  Peter will discuss the opportunities in Wisconsin to expand biomass generation through existing technologies as well as biomass gasification and renewable natural gas production.

11:15     Incenting Utilities:  RPS Nationwide-Pros, Cons, Outcomes and Costs

Karin Corfee, KEMA

KEMA has been conducting substantial work across the country regarding RPS standards.  Karin will provide a view on how they are working, pros and cons, lessons learned.

12:00 Lunch


1:00        Wind Power and Reliability: The Question of the Need for Base load Power

Mike Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin

Will renewable sources and energy management make base load a term of the past?  And how will wind play a role in expediting this new load profile for utility planners?

1:45        Feed in Tariffs and Renewable Portfolio Standards:  A Comparison of Strengths and Weaknesses

Mike Bull, Xcel Energy

Wisconsin is considering adding ART/FIT’s and renewable standards in the future. Mike will provide a basic definition for FITs and RPSs, and then compare the two policy tools for a series of criteria: price, transaction costs, resource certainty, financing certainty and technology diversity

2:15        Break

2:30        “FITs in Wisconsin”—What level of incentive for what level of output:  A UW Student Capstone Project

Sean Staples, Thais Passos Fonseca, Phil Kollmeyer, Seth Nowak, Tae Wook Ahn

Five UW graduate students conducted an analysis of renewable feed-in tariffs. They will report on their conclusions in this session.  Topics covered are:

  • Existing experimental renewable tariffs and buy-back programs in Wisconsin
  • Stakeholder concerns as indicated by the PSC docket 5-EI-148 regarding the Commission’s motion to address Advanced Renewable Tariffs
  • Biogas, and biomass technologies in Wisconsin.  What might it take to encourage non-utility scale renewable generation?
  • Policy design considerations including tariff rates, grid access, technologies to receive the tariff, and supplementary policy issues such complementing a Renewable Portfolio Standards, ratepayer impacts, and cap & trade

3:15        Panel Discussion—Incenting Renewables and Base Load

Moderator:  Robert Camfield, Christensen Associates Energy Consulting

  • Todd Stuart, Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group
  • Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin
  • Peter Taglia
  • Karin Corfee
  • Tom Veselka
  • Capstone Project Members

3:45 Adjourn

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