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Working Groups

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Electric Tariffs  |  Gas Interconnection | Business Model Development | Education | Local Integrated Resource Planning

  Electric Tariffs


Review utility tariffs, subsidies and cross-subsidization, and other utility rates and pricing issues to determine how DR can be enabled and not inhibited by inappropriate standby charges or other barriers. Develop uniform state-wide “buy-back rates” for utilities to purchase output from small, customer-owned DG (to avoid problems with negotiating PPAs with utilities for such projects). Propose enhancements to utility "Net Metering" tariffs on a state-wide to promote changes in net metering approaches.
Background Links on Tariffs:
Latest Wisconsin Utility Tariffs are at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin - follow each utility's links
For an overview of how buy-back rates are developing in other states and countries. See more at: Wind Works by Paul Gipe

 Customer-Owned Gas Interconnection

2011 Project:  Development of a Strategy Paper on Customer-Owned Distributed Gas Interconnection Issues and Methods
Status: White Paper finished June 2011
  • Background

    There is increasing development of biogas production facilities in Wisconsin and interest continues to build.  Although anaerobic digestion (a biological process) is currently the biogas production technology being developed, gasification (a thermal process) may eventually be utilized at a later time.  The product of anaerobic digestion is a mixed gas primarily composed of methane and carbon dioxide - which is commonly called biogas.

    Although the gas utilities and gas industry have extensive experience with geologically-sourced natural gas in pipelines, they have little or no experience with renewable natural gas produced from distributed customer-owned facilities. The key to utilizing renewable natural gas as a pipeline fuel is clear delineation of the issues, methods and technical solutions for making its use safely interchangeable with the conventional natural gas - without unduly increasing the maintenance burden on pipeline and end-use systems.

  • A WIDRC workgroup was assembled to work on developing the strategy paper. Tasks performed:
    1. Prepare slideshow detailing issues and background for project: "Customer-Owned Distributed Methane Interconnection Issues"
    2. Collect background information Customer-Owned Gas Links, Background and Regulations
    3. Frst draft strategy paper
    4. Zero in on important issues
    5. Produce final strategy paper
      "Biomethane Production Facility Pipeline Interconnection in Wisconsin, a White Paper" June 2011

    6. ABSTRACT
      This paper develops a strategy framework for the interconnection of biomethane production facilities to the transmission and distribution pipelines of Wisconsin’s natural gas companies. A brief review of the following topics is provided: 1) biogas production technologies, 2) methane separation technologies, 3) examples of operational biomethane systems, 4) natural gas processing, transmission and distribution, 5) natural gas pipelines, 6) gas quality and interchangeability standards applicable to biomethane and 7) the generic biomethane interconnection.
      The paper’s framework identifies many interconnection related general and technical issues and suggests potential strategies to address them. A set of examples are provided for technical standards, interconnection procedures and uniform applications/agreements. An appendix delineates an Outline of Model Interconnection Guidelines. The paper discusses that for biomethane adoption, the right balance of implementation requirements and market development must be found. The effectiveness of overall approaches for addressing general and technical issues is scored according to technology adoption effectiveness and perceived level of risk to gas providers.
      The paper concludes that biomethane provides a compelling means to turn the liability of bio-based waste streams into an economic asset. In summary, even though there are still unresolved issues about biomethane injection into pipeline systems, there are no unsolvable technical reasons for creating obstacles to interconnection.

     Business Model Development

    Address the need to find the right business model(s) under which DG benefits are capturing full benefits – be they energy production or energy savings.

     Education

    Work with academic/education organizations for specific DG curriculum development, especially train the trades. Explore partnerships with academic organizations.

     Local Integrated Resource Planning

    Develop a model (local integrated resource planning) that analyzes the effects of DR on utility system performance against central station power plant and T&D upgrades and new lines, in order to develop distributed grids to benefit security and reliability by locating generation closer to load/need. As a key policy-level issue, DG represents a shift away from the central generation station planning model and embodies the advantages of dispersed power production and “energy surety”. How can state energy planning fully recognize the value of DG given Wisconsin’s utility planning processes ?