solar power

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More solar energy proposals, more energy efficiency projects, and more sustainability — that's what two top Wisconsin officials are predicting for this year.

One of them is Tyler Huebner, appointed by Gov. Tony Evers to the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin last year. Huebner told RENEW Wisconsin's annual conference Tuesday that six large solar farms, totaling 1,049 megawatts, have received PSC approval over the last 20 months, including one in the Town of Paris in Kenosha County.

Huebner said more proposals for large solar farms are seeking PSC approval.

Chuck Quirmbach

Solar energy in Wisconsin continued to grow in 2019, as more homeowners had rooftop panels installed and big utilities started building multi-panel solar farms.

Wind power is increasing more slowly in the state. However, developers are again coming forward with proposals for multiple turbines.

Nationally, researchers are working on ways to get even more energy from solar and wind, as states like Wisconsin aim to reduce their carbon emissions over the next few decades.

Susan Bence

Picture this. You're in a field in central Wisconsin. You're one of hundreds of people squeezing as close as possible to a 16-by-12 foot elevated track as 12 handcrafted shoebox-sized wooden vehicles prepare to compete.

That's exactly what people were doing recently — including yours truly — at the 6th annual Green Mini Demo Derby. The derby is a highlight of the Energy Fair in Custer, Wis.

Chuck Quirmbach

Gov. Tony Evers caused a bit of a stir this year when he said Wisconsin should have a goal of generating carbon-free electricity by the year 2050. That would mean no coal-fired power plants in the state, and several other changes. Energy experts say one of those changes would likely involve more use of devices to temporarily store electricity from cleaner sources like solar and wind power.