Two CWPB attorneys were recognized at the third-annual RENEW Wisconsin Energy Policy Summit held in January at the Pyle Center in Madison. The conference brought together stakeholders from businesses, non-profits, environmental groups, local governments, and other organizations to discuss the current state of renewable energy policy in Wisconsin. With the theme "We Mean Business," the conference focused on the potential for Wisconsin to improve its economy and create jobs by expanding renewable energy development in the state.
Attorney Lee Cullen, a founding member of the firm who retired at the end of 2013, received the Lifetime Achievement Award for "Outstanding service as counsel for numerous clean energy businesses and advocacy organizations, and outstanding leadership in crafting, shaping, and defending Wisconsin's renewable energy policy framework throughout his professional career." Lee's long list of accomplishments includes serving as Chair of the Governor's Task Force on Energy Efficiency and Renewables, resulting in the passage of 2005 Act 141 which created Wisconsin's current renewable portfolio standard among other renewable energy and energy efficiency initiatives.
Attorney Jeff Vercauteren received recognition at the conference for his role in the development of the new Galactic Wind Project north of Middleton. Jeff also presented as part of a panel discussing Clean Energy Choice, an initiative spearheaded by RENEW Wisconsin that would clarify state law to allow residents and businesses to lease space to third parties for purposes of installing renewable energy systems, such as solar panels. This would allow a resident or business who wants to host a renewable energy system but lacks the financial resources to purchase the system directly to participate in the production of renewable energy by hosting a system. More than 20 states expressly allow this type of renewable energy ownership model.
CWPB has been involved in the third-party ownership issue for the past three years, representing renewable energy developers in addressing related transactional, regulatory, and governmental relations issues. This is the latest in a number of significant renewable energy policy initiatives CWPB has been involved in, including the establishment of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard, the creation of the Focus on Energy Program, and the promulgation of uniform standards for siting wind energy systems.