City council approves renewable energy plan

ISHPEMING – The Negaunee City Council at Thursday’s meeting unanimously approved its renewable energy plan and to continue purchasing energy from WPPI Energy.

WPPI Energy – a not-for-profit regional power company serving Negaunee and 50 other customer-owned electric utilities in Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa – has contracts to purchase power from various renewable energy projects. In 2012, these projects produced about 454,700 megawatt hours of renewable energy.

WPPI also has contracts with several major investor-owned utilities to which it pays a share of resource costs in exchange for an equal share of output.

From these sources, WPPI receives renewable energy certificates. WPPI allocated 442 of these certificates to Negaunee in 2012 and will have a sufficient number of credits to continue to meet the renewable energy standard in the future – expecting to provide the city with as many as 2,225 RECs by 2015.

Councilwoman Diana Menhennick supported the proposal and praised the city’s partnership with WPPI Energy.

“I think partnering with WPPI was a very good thing to do,” she said. “They have quite a large bit of their power is green and … I think if we had to do this ourselves without being part of a group like (WPPI), we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

The energy proposal is a continuation of the city’s 2011 Renewable Energy Plan in compliance with Public Act 295 of 2008. The Act requires municipally owned electric utilities to file a renewable energy plan that describes how it will meet renewable standards; specifies whether the number of megawatt hours used in the calculation of the plan will be weather-normalized – calculated based on past energy use in the area depending on the weather – or based on the average number of megawatt hours sold during the previous three years; includes the expected incremental cost of compliance; and describes the manner in which the provider will allocate costs.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401.