Articles filed under Energy Policy from Wisconsin
"There are few long term jobs after the turbines are built, and the there will be no other development for years and years, no new homes or farm buildings, no industry, nothing," said Theresa Lark of Holland. "This is not progress. It's stunting the growth and development that our economy needs."
The Wind Siting Reform bill would mandate turbines go up at least 1,800 feet from property lines, the strongest regulation in the country. The restrictions would prohibit any future wind projects from being built and threaten the same jobs that Obama heralded just weeks ago, the industry says. While the state legislature agreed last week that it would not take up the bill during the current special legislative session, Walker has pledged to continue to fight for tougher regulations, according to news reports.
Wisconsin's Legislature will not take up Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to toughen wind turbine regulations during a special session the governor called to pass that bill and others, a spokesman for legislative leaders told The Associated Press on Thursday. However, the demise of the bill seeking a law change doesn't mean Walker is giving up on the issue.
Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to toughen wind turbine regulations will not be taken up by the Legislature in a special session the governor called to pass that bill and others, the Associated Press was told Thursday by spokesman for legislative leaders. ...The wind bill drew vociferous opposition from those in the industry who said it would constitute the greatest regulatory barrier in the country.
It's true that wind turbine critics wanted a farther setback -- one figure that gets thrown around is a 2-kilometer setback, or more than 6,000 feet. But that the PSC's figure is less than critics wanted and more than developers proves nothing about the process that produced the PSC's rule. Was, in fact, the process fair?
A new report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance says the construction of new power plants in the state in recent years has driven up electrical rates, created excess capacity just when the recession was reducing demand, and eliminated the state's competitive edge as one of the nation's cheapest places to buy power.
After the administration of Gov. Jim Doyle pursued an aggressive agenda pushing the expansion of renewable energy, Governor-elect Scott Walker and the new Republican-controlled Legislature will take a second look at the costs of going green.
Kestell said he asked for the public hearing on new wind turbine siting standards in response to concerns from constituents ..."There are many questions and concerns about these rules from citizens statewide and I have personally heard from many constituents as there are existing wind turbines in my district."
"My wife and I decided to file the lawsuit after the PSC adopted the rules in their current form without doing an environmental assessment on the rules or evaluating the adverse environmental impacts of wind energy projects." Stoddard said the commission violated the Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act and the state's smart growth law.
Thanks to new power plants, such as the We Energies coal-fired power plant in Oak Creek, Wisconsin will have at least 24% more electricity available than it needs to meet projected demand, the report says. "Excess reserves may increase the opportunity for Wisconsin utilities to export power in the regional market," the report says.
"While I support the overall rule because it will promote the development of wind in Wisconsin, the rule fails to provide a much-needed safety net for people whose health declines because of a wind turbine located near their home," Commissioner Lauren Azar wrote to legislative officials in an Aug. 31 letter.
The tide of public anger is rising, as rural people lose trust in the agencies charged with their protection. Can those responsible for protecting us live with the damaged health and ruined lives that will be the consequences of their failure to conduct the studies necessary to find the truth?
The PSC established guidelines for local governments to set restrictions on projects less than 100 megawatts in generating capacity.
Commissioners have grappled with details of the rules during a series of meetings over the past few weeks, as the agency scrambled to complete the rules by the end of August. The rules are now being submitted to the state Legislature for review.
A local man who worked on the state council to write wind siting rules says the slanted make-up of the committee toward the wind industry created a disservice to the process. The resulting rules likely will increase local dissent and resistance to proposed projects, which he predicts will end up in court, said Doug Zweizig, who co-chaired the wind siting council.
An advisory council to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission has recommended new standards for wind turbines. Supporters say this will fix a broken patchwork of local regulations that's earned the state a reputation as a bad one for the wind business. Objectors say the proposed rules don't do enough to protect nearby residents.
Callisto and other PSC staff members this week are traveling throughout the state to hold public hearings on wind turbine placement draft rules based on recommendations from the state's Wind Siting Council. The council's goal is to recommend rules for turbine placement on wind farms that generate less than 100 megawatts of electricity. Wind farms that generate more than 100 megawatts are subject to PSC approval.
Deadline pressure and 100 amendments are cracking the unity of the state‘s Wind Siting Council as it strives to agree on turbine placement standards. ...some council members insist they will testify against recommendations not based on a consensus vote.
Wind farms that generate more than 100 megawatts are subject to PSC approval, but until the new law passed, local governments had control over turbine placement standards for any projects generating up to 99 megawatts of electricity. ...The council's discussion Wednesday was the first of what could be many debates in determining an appropriate setback distance, Ebert said.
The bill, known as the Renewable Resource Credits bill, would allow energy generation produced from waste such as garbage to be classified as renewable and qualify that electricity for the state's renewable power mandate. ...Doyle conceded that there would be some effect on the wind industry from the new law but said it would be so slight as to be negligible.