Articles filed under General from Wisconsin
Although in very preliminary stages, Westby City Council members recently jumped on the alternative energy resource bandwagon giving an unofficial nod of approval for representatives of WPPI (Wisconsin Public Power Inc.) to work Westby’s municipal electric utility and local officials at the possibility of installing a wind-powered project in Westby. WPPI is looking at developing as much as 24 megawatts of community-based wind projects in Wisconsin. WPPI hopes to develop these community-based wind power projects cooperatively with local elected officials, community leaders, site landowners and site neighbors.
TOWN OF MENASHA — Construction could begin this spring on a wind turbine demonstration project along Northern Road similar to one rejected in January. Tom Newton, president of Worship Thanks Praise Ltd., Manitowoc, said the scope and location of the project has changed and all generated electricity will be used on site, not sold. That eliminates the need for a Winnebago County conditional use permit approved by the Town Board and requires only a staff review before a building permit is issued.
Residents showed a healthy skepticism Monday at a public meeting on a proposed wind-turbine project. The town’s community center on Dickinson Road drew a standing-room only crowd to discuss the eight-turbine proposal by Emerging Energies/Shirley Wind, LLC of Hubertus. The company wants a 30-year permit to put eight turbines on land owned by four families. Each turbine would stand 492 feet tall and operate at an optimal 2 to 3 megawatts, Emerging Energies spokesman Bill Rakocy told those attending. The turbines would conform to the town’s new wind energy ordinance. Licensed electrical engineers would oversee installation.
Amidst times of high costs for traditional fuels and growing pushes for alternative energy sources, Sawyer County officials are considering to create an ordinance that would specifically regulate a rather rare structure in this part of the state-wind turbines. The Sawyer County Record reports that the county’s zoning committee is holding hearings to gather feedback from the public as to what it would like included in any such ordinance. Some concerns commonly raised involve not only how loud of turbines should be allowed, but also how the large propellers might affect the aesthetic value of the area. At least one local government member has asked for more technical experts to weigh in on the feasibility of wind-generated power for Sawyer County.
Residents and neighbors will have a chance to voice their opinion Monday at a public zoning hearing on a proposed wind farm in the town. The Milwaukee-area company, Emerging Energies, wants to build an eight-turbine wind farm on several parcels of land owned by four families. Each of the turbines would stand 492 feet. Shirley Wind LLC, a division of Emerging Energies, is the applicant. Shirley Wind and Emerging Energies want to erect turbines on property owned by Mark Mathies, 5982 Fairview Road; Dan Mathies, 4157 Shirley Road; Dan and Tina Zeamer, 3384 School Road; and Rodney and Sue Leiterman, 4611 Shirley Road. Neighbors have signed a petition to urge the town to delay the project until an environmental and quality-of-life study can be done on wind turbines.
The state Public Service Commission should take potential taxes on emissions of greenhouse gases into account when considering whether to approve new power plants, the agency’s chairman said Thursday. The PSC will meet today to adopt a seven-year energy plan that is designed in part to help implement Gov. Jim Doyle’s global warming and renewable energy agenda, PSC Chairman Dan Ebert said. The plan, known as the Strategic Energy Assessment, calls for the agency to take steps in the area of global warming and boost the supply of renewable energy in the state. By 2015, state law requires that 10% of the state’s electricity must be supplied by wind turbines, solar panels and waste-to-energy systems and other renewable energy sources.
In the coming months, Sawyer County will be adopting a new wind ordinance governing all single wind turbines and larger wind farms. At its monthly meeting last Friday, the zoning committee held a discussion on the amendments and changes to the initial proposed ordinance that was introduced last year. On Jan. 22, county zoning held a public information meeting about the proposed ordinance where administrators gathered feedback from the public as to what to amend or eliminate altogether. Based on this meeting, zoning administrator Bill Christman distributed a revised copy of the proposed wind ordinance this month and sought questions from the committee as a whole at Friday’s meeting. “It was a time when we went to the public and asked ‘what do you think about this?’” said Christman. “Out of that there were some recommended changes to the ordinance. That is not to say these changes will be what is ultimately approved. We will need another public hearing to get the towns’ input.”
With federal regulations requiring more electricity from renewable sources, Vernon County is being considered as a potential future home for a “wind farm.” A wind farm is a collection of electricity-generating wind mills. Both the town of Christiana and city of Westby have been approached about erecting wind farms.
A zoning public hearing for a proposed wind farm in the town will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Glenmore Community Center, 5718 Dickinson Road. Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus wants to build eight 492-foot wind turbines on property owned by four families on Fairview, Shirley and School roads. The meeting is open to the public. Written comments also will be accepted by mailing Clerk Lana Ossmann at 5795 Dickinson Road, De Pere, WI 54115.
By a vote of 22-1, the Manitowoc County Board of Supervisors approved on Tuesday ordinances for large and small wind energy systems in the town of Newton, the first municipality in the county to adopt its own wind energy ordinance. The Newton ordinance requires greater distances for wind towers from adjacent properties, but it’s otherwise similar to the county wind energy ordinances adopted last year, according to Steve Rollins, county corporation counsel. Under the Newton ordinance, wind towers must be at least 1.2 times the total height of the large wind system from the property line of a participating property and at least 1,000 feet from any occupied or habitable building not located on the property on which the tower is located.
A wind farm proposed for the towns of Eden and Empire is moving through the approval process with little vocal opposition. People gathered Monday for two informational meetings regarding Alliant Energy’s plans to build a wind farm in Fond du Lac County. The Cedar Ridge Wind Farm would include 41 turbines, generating up to 89 megawatts, according to the Public Service Commission.
A group of investors is exploring the potential for commercial wind turbines in west-central Wisconsin. AgWind Energy Partners, formed in spring 2006 with four members, installed a meteorological tower in October to measure wind northwest of Ettrick. Group member Jim Naleid of La Crosse said AgWind planned to install measuring towers at two other Trempealeau County sites. The proposed projects have sparked a Trempealeau County Wind Forum, sponsored by UW-Extension.
The town Planning Commission gave its OK to a Milwaukee-area company’s request for a conditional use permit to build an eight-turbine wind farm. Shirley Wind LLC of Hubertus, a division of Emerging Energies, wants to build eight 492-foot-tall turbines on several parcels of property owned by four families in Glenmore. The sites on land owned by Mark Mathies, 5982 Fairview Road; Dan Mathies, 4157 Shirley Road; Dan and Tina Zeamer, 3384 School Road; Rodney and Sue Leiterman, 4611 Shirley Road; and several parcels on Glenmore Road. Each landowner requested permission for two turbines on their property.
As part of a broad effort to make Wisconsin the nation’s leader in energy independence and create thousands of jobs in our state, Governor Jim Doyle will propose the next major step forward by creating the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and dedicating $40 million in his budget proposal for renewable energy like solar, wind, hydrogen, biodiesel and ethanol. Governor Doyle, who will make the announcement in his State of the State address Tuesday, has set a goal for this state to generate 25 percent of its power and transportation fuels from renewable sources by 2025.
State regulators today approved We Energies’ plans to construct 88 wind turbines in Fond du Lac County. The project is expected to cost the utility’s ratepayers nearly 400 (M) million dollars. The Blue Sky Green Field wind farm will be built in the towns of Calumet and Marshfield, just east of Lake Winnebago. It will generate enough power to supply 45,000 homes. The Public Service Commission says the wind farm will help We Energies comply with a state law that requires ten percent of the state’s energy supply to come from renewable energy sources by 2015.
TOWN OF MENASHA — The town Monday night took a step toward adoption of a wind energy ordinance while also rejecting a permit for a wind turbine demonstration project. On a 4-0 vote, the Town Board rejected a conditional use permit requested by Soul Purpose Ministry to install 36 small wind turbines on an industrial site on Northern Road off U.S. 41. The denial was recommended by the town Planning Commission last week due to a lack of details requested for several months to ensure the structural integrity of the plans to place wind turbines on top of steel pipes 120 tall.
TOWN OF MENASHA - A conditional use permit for a proposed wind demonstration project was denied Wednesday but the wind turbines may be installed regardless. The town Planning Commission denied the permit request from Soul Purpose Ministry to construct 36 small turbines at an industrial site at 2225 Northern Road due to a lack of structural information. But, Tom Newton of Manitowoc, a partner on the project, said they will forge ahead without the permit, which was only required if they intended to sell the electricity. “Their denial doesn’t mean we can’t put it up,” Newton said. “All we have to do is keep the energy in use on the property and get the state plans approved and then just get a building permit.”
A state Department of Justice investigation has found that Manitowoc County did not violate open meetings laws and the Mishicot town board had no potential conflicts of interest that warranted enforcement action relating to the county’s wind energy system ordinance, according to a letter dated Jan. 4, Manitowoc County Corporation Council Steve Rollins said Tuesday. The letter was in response to allegations made by eight county residents, Rollins said.
The winds of change are blowing steadily on Friesland Road in northeast Columbia County as two major players in energy — Midwest Renewable Energy Corp. and FPL Energy, an affiliate of Florida Power and Light — each plan to construct wind farms in 2008. For the past three years, both renewable energy companies have been courting farmers in that area to lease land for the construction of wind turbines. The leases under option agreements run between 20 and 25 years long for farmers who decide to sign with either company.
A federal court will hear a lawsuit 24 property owners have filed over Calumet County's wind turbine ordinance. The plaintiffs, who oppose the wind turbines, contend the county's ordinance as amended in October is unconstitutional. They allege the ordinance, which requires 1,000 feet between wind turbines and homes, schools and churches but not businesses, fails to protect all property owners equally. At the same time, they contend the 1,000-foot setback impinges on adjacent properties, constituting a "taking" of property. Wind farm developers say the changes the plaintiffs want would thwart their plans and overstep the county's legal authority.