196.218 (5) (a) 8. of the statutes is created to read:
196.218 (5) (a) 8. To promote access to information and library services to blind and visually handicapped individuals.
196.218 (5) (a) 9. of the statutes is created to read:
196.218 (5) (a) 9. To make grants under sub. (4u).
196.218 (5) (a) 10. of the statutes is created to read:
196.218 (5) (a) 10. To provide administrative services under the rehabilitation teaching program for blind and visually impaired persons under s. 46.293.
196.218 (5) (d) of the statutes is created to read:
196.218 (5) (d) 1. In this paragraph, "Wisconsin works agency" has the meaning given in s. 49.001 (9).
2. The commission shall annually provide information booklets to all Wisconsin works agencies that describe the current assistance from the universal service fund that is available to low-income individuals who are served by the Wisconsin works agencies, including a description of how such individuals may obtain such assistance. The department of workforce development shall assist the commission in identifying the Wisconsin works agencies to which the commission is required to submit the information required under this subdivision.
196.218 (5m) of the statutes is amended to read:
196.218 (5m) Rule review. Except for rules promulgated under sub. (4r) (b), at At least biennially, the commission shall review and revise as appropriate rules promulgated under this section.
196.218 (5u) of the statutes is created to read:
196.218 (5u) Biennial budget request. The commission shall include in its biennial budget request under s. 16.42 a proposed budget for each individual program for which the commission proposes to expend moneys from the universal fund in the forthcoming biennium. A proposed budget under this subsection shall describe each program and identify the proposed expenditure amount for each program for each fiscal year of the biennium.
196.218 (6) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
196.218 (6) (b) The universal service fund council shall advise the commission concerning the administration of this section and the content of rules promulgated under this section. This paragraph does not apply to the administration of sub. (4r) and rules promulgated under sub. (4r) (b).
196.31 (1) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
196.31 (1) (intro.) In any proceeding before the commission, the commission may shall compensate any participant in the proceeding who is not a public utility, for some or all of the reasonable costs of participation in the proceeding if the commission finds that:
196.31 (1) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
196.31 (1) (a) The participation is necessary to provide for the record an adequate presentation of a significant position in which the participant has a substantial interest, and that an adequate presentation would not be possible occur without a grant of compensation; or
196.374 of the statutes is repealed and recreated to read:
196.374 Low-income assistance, energy efficiency and other programs. (1) In this section:
(a) "Department" means the department of administration.
(b) "Fund" means the utility public benefits fund.
(c) "Utility" means a Class A gas or electric utility, as defined by the commission, but does not include a municipal utility, as defined in s. 16.957 (1) (q), a municipal electric company, as defined in s. 66.073 (3) (d), or a cooperative association organized under ch. 185.
(2) The commission shall determine the amount that each utility spent in 1998 on programs for each of the following:
(a) Low-income assistance, including low-income weatherization and writing off uncollectibles and arrearages.
(b) Energy conservation and efficiency.
(c) Environmental research and development.
(d) Renewable resources.
(3) In 2000, 2001 and 2002, the commission shall require each utility to spend a decreasing portion of the amount determined under sub. (2) on programs specified in sub. (2) and contribute the remaining portion of the amount to the commission for deposit in the fund. In each year after 2002, each utility shall contribute the entire amount determined under sub. (2) to the commission for deposit in the fund. The commission shall ensure in rate-making orders that a utility recovers from its ratepayers the amounts spent on programs or contributed to the fund under this subsection. The commission shall allow each utility the option of continuing to use, until January 1, 2002, the moneys that it has recovered under s. 196.374 (3), 1997 stats., to administer the programs that it has funded under s. 196.374 (1), 1997 stats.
The commission may allow each utility to spend additional moneys on the programs specified in sub. (2) if the utility otherwise complies with the requirements of this section and s. 16.957 (4).
(4) If the department notifies the commission under s. 16.957 (2) (b) 2. that the department has reduced funding for energy conservation and efficiency and renewable resource programs by an amount that is greater than the portion of the public benefits fee specified in s. 16.957 (4) (c) 2., the commission shall reduce the amount that utilities are required to spend on programs or contribute to the fund under sub. (3) by the portion of the reduction that exceeds the amount of public benefits fees specified in s. 16.957 (4) (c) 2.
196.378 of the statutes is created to read:
196.378 Renewable resources. (1) Definitions. In this section:
(a) "Biomass" means a resource that derives energy from wood or plant material or residue, biological waste, crops grown for use as a resource or landfill gases. "Biomass" does not include garbage, as defined in s. 289.01 (9), or nonvegetation-based industrial, commercial or household waste, except that "biomass" includes refuse-derived fuel used for a renewable facility that was in service in this state before January 1, 1998.
(am) "Biomass cofired facility" means a renewable facility in which biomass and conventional resources are fired together.
(b) "Conventional resource" means a resource that derives energy from coal, oil, nuclear power or natural gas, except for natural gas used in a fuel cell.
(bm) "Department" means the department of administration.
(c) "Electric provider" means an electric utility or retail electric cooperative.
(d) "Electric utility" means a public utility that sells electricity at retail. For purposes of this paragraph, a public utility is not considered to sell electricity at retail solely on the basis of its ownership or operation of a retail electric distribution system.
(e) "Excludable renewable energy" means the portion of an electric provider's total renewable energy that is supplied from renewable facilities that were placed in service before January 1, 1998, and that, before January 1, 1998, derived electricity from hydroelectric power, even if the output of the renewable facilities is used to satisfy requirements under federal law.
(f) "Nonsystem renewable energy" means the amount of electricity that an electric provider sells to its retail customers or members and that is supplied or allocated under executed wholesale purchase contracts from renewable facilities that are not owned or operated by the electric provider. "Nonsystem renewable energy" does not include any electricity that is not used to satisfy the electric provider's retail load obligations.
(g) "Renewable facility" means an installed and operational electric generating facility in which electricity is derived from a renewable resource. "Renewable facility" includes a facility the installation or operation of which is required under federal law, but does not include a facility the installation or operation of which is required under the laws of another state even if the installation or operation of the facility is also required under federal law.
(h) "Renewable resource" means any of the following:
1. A resource that derives electricity from any of the following:
a. A fuel cell that uses, as determined by the commission, a renewable fuel.
b. Tidal or wave action.
c. Solar thermal electric or photovoltaic energy.
d. Wind power.
e. Geothermal technology.
1m. A resource with a capacity of less than 60 megawatts that derives electricity from hydroelectric power.
2. Any other resource, except a conventional resource, that the commission designates as a renewable resource in rules promulgated under sub. (4).
(i) "Renewable resource credit" means a credit calculated in accordance with rules promulgated under sub. (3) (a).
(j) "Resource" means a source of energy used to generate electric power.
(k) "Retail electric cooperative" means a cooperative association organized under ch. 185 that sells electricity at retail to its members only. For purposes of this paragraph, a cooperative association is not considered to sell electricity at retail solely on the basis of its ownership or operation of a retail electric distribution system.
(n) "System renewable energy" means the amount of electricity that an electric provider sells to its retail customers or members and that is supplied by renewable facilities owned or operated by the electric provider.
(o) "Total renewable energy" means the sum of an electric provider's system and nonsystem renewable energy.
(2) Renewable resource energy. (a) Each electric provider shall provide to its retail electric customers or members total renewable energy in at least the following percentages of its total retail electric sales, either directly or through renewable resource credits from another electric provider:
1. By December 31, 2001, 0.5%.
2. By December 31, 2003, 0.85%.
3. By December 31, 2005, 1.2%.
4. By December 31, 2007, 1.55%.
5. By December 31, 2009, 1.9%.
6. By December 31, 2011, 2.2%.
(b) For purposes of determining compliance with par. (a):
1. Total retail electric sales shall be calculated on the basis of an average of an electric provider's retail electric sales in this state during the prior 3 years.
2. The amount of electricity supplied by a biomass cofired facility that may be counted toward satisfying the requirements of par. (a) shall be an amount equal to the product of the maximum amount of electricity that the facility is capable of generating and the ratio of the energy content of the biomass fuels to the energy content of both the biomass and conventional resources.
3. Any excludable renewable energy that exceeds 0.6% of an electric provider's total retail electric sales shall be excluded from the electric provider's total renewable energy.
4. The members of a municipal electric company, as defined in s. 66.073 (3) (d), may aggregate and allocate renewable energy among themselves.
(c) No later than April 15 annually, an electric provider shall submit a report to the department that describes the electric provider's compliance with par. (a). Reports under this paragraph may include certifications from wholesale suppliers regarding the sources and amounts of energy supplied to an electric provider. The department may specify the documentation that is required to be included with reports submitted under this paragraph.
(d) The commission shall allow an electric utility to recover from ratepayers the cost of providing total renewable energy to its retail customers in amounts that equal or exceed the percentages specified in par. (a). Subject to any approval of the commission that is necessary, an electric utility may recover costs under this paragraph by any of the following methods:
1. Allocating the costs equally to all customers on a kilowatt-hour basis.
2. Establishing alternative price structures, including price structures under which customers pay a premium for renewable energy.
3. Any combination of the methods specified in subds. 1. and 2.
(e) 1. This subsection does not apply to any of the following:
a. An electric provider that provides more than 10% of its summer peak demand in this state from renewable facilities.
b. An electric provider that provides more than 10% of its summer peak demand from renewable resources.
2. For purposes of calculating the percentages under subd. 1., an electric provider may include renewable facilities located in this or another state and renewable facilities located on its or another electric provider's system.
3. Notwithstanding subd. 1., this subsection applies to an electric provider unless the electric provider provides documentation to the commission that establishes, to the satisfaction of the commission, that the electric provider satisfies the requirements under subd. 1. a. or b.
(3) Renewable resource credits. (a) An electric provider that provides total renewable energy to its retail electric customers or members in excess of the percentages specified in sub. (2) (a) 1. to 6. may, in the applicable year, sell to any other electric provider a renewable resource credit or a portion of a renewable resource credit at any negotiated price. Alternatively, an electric provider may use a renewable resource credit or portion of a renewable resource credit in a subsequent year to establish compliance with sub. (2) (a). The commission shall promulgate rules that establish requirements for the use of a renewable resource credit, including calculating the amount of a renewable resource credit.
(b) The commission may promulgate rules that establish requirements and procedures for a sale under par. (a).
(4) Rules. The commission may promulgate rules that designate a resource, except for a conventional resource, as a renewable resource in addition to the resources specified in sub. (1) (h) 1. and 1m.
(5) Penalty. Any person who violates sub. (2) or any wholesale supplier who provides an electric provider with a false or misleading certification regarding the sources or amounts of energy supplied to the electric provider shall forfeit not less than $5,000 nor more than $500,000. Forfeitures under this subsection shall be enforced by action on behalf of the state by the attorney general. A court imposing a forfeiture under this subsection shall consider all of the following in determining the amount of the forfeiture:
(a) The appropriateness of the forfeiture to the person's or wholesale supplier's volume of business.
(b) The gravity of the violation.
(c) Whether a violation of sub. (2) is due to circumstances beyond the violator's control.
196.44 (2) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
196.44 (2) (b) The attorney general may, on his or her own initiative, appear before the commission on telecommunications matters relating to consumer protection and antitrust. If acting under the authority granted by this paragraph, the attorney general shall have the rights accorded a party before the commission in its proceedings but may not appeal as a party a decision of the commission to the circuit court. This paragraph does not apply after June 30, 1999 2001.