PSC Passes on Third-party Issue
Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission (PSC) last month rejected a California developer’s request for approval of model leasing language covering distributed solar generation facilities owned by the developer.
Third-party ownership of generation equipment has been stymied by Wisconsin law in which an owner/installer leasing the equipment to a homeowner, business, or municipality appears to meet the definition of a regulated utility, a situation developers wish to avoid.
Commissioners voted 2-1 against examining the leasing language proposed by San Francisco-based Sunrun, suggesting that any redefinition of “public utility” would fall under the authority of the Legislature, not the PSC.
Nuke Research Funds Requested
Nuclear scientists appealed to a Senate appropriations subcommittee in January for $10–$30 million in taxpayer funding annually over the next several years, to support research and deployment of new, small modular nuclear reactor technologies.
The new technologies are being promoted as the key to future emissions-free electric generation with advantages derived from their smaller scale, enhanced safety through self-shutdown capabilities, and greatly reduced production of spent fuel, compared with large nuclear generation units in current use.
Reader Study Highlights Magazine’s Information
The Wisconsin Energy Cooperative News is regarded as a source of “relevant and useful information” by 95 percent of its readers, according to a recent study by the leading U.S. audience research firm.
New York-based GfK MRI sampled readers of this magazine last December and shared its analysis last month. It found that three-fourths of the 172,000 households receiving the magazine read three of every four editions and 63 percent read every edition. Nearly half the respondents said they save the magazine for future reference.
The research firm found that “nearly 80 percent of respondents had taken some kind of action” based on information from the magazine and more than one in four said they’d acted to make their homes more energy-efficient based on ideas found in the publication.
Readers’ top three areas of interest—each listed first by 82–90 percent of survey respondents—were articles about energy conservation and savings, stories about events and places in Wisconsin, and news about issues involving their electric cooperatives. A surprising 93 percent said they prefer to read the magazine in a printed format, rather than electronically.
The research firm claims a 95 percent confidence level that its findings are representative of the entire readership.
Co-op Scholarship Offered
Law or pre-law students who reside in Wisconsin and are interested in practicing cooperative law have the opportunity to qualify for the third Charles Van Sickle Scholarship this year.
Named to commemorate the eminent co-op attorney and lobbyist, and partner in Madison’s Wheeler, Van Sickle law firm, the scholarship is administered by the Federated Youth Foundation (FYF) and funded through an endowment established in 2013. The FYF is a non-profit, charitable arm of Wisconsin’s cooperatives.
Eligibility for the $2,000 award is limited to pre-law or law students wishing to pursue a career in cooperative law who are Wisconsin residents. Preference will be given to students whose parents or grandparents are members of cooperatives, credit unions, or mutual insurance companies. The scholarship will be awarded during the Spring 2019 semester.
Applicants must have a minimum cumulative grade point of 3.0 on a four-point scale and will be judged on leadership, scholastic achievement, extracurricular activities during undergraduate studies, personal motivation, academic and life goals.
To be considered, applications must be received by FYF at P.O. Box 148, Baraboo, WI 53913 no later than April 5, 2019. For more information, contact FYF Executive Director Ethan Giebel at (608) 548-2818.