Articles filed under Energy Policy from Wisconsin

The war over wind; Critics say green groups are too tight with industry

It was the strangest sensation Lynda Barry ever felt: a near-constant vibration within her body. ...Barry was standing in a house in Fond du Lac County, near a wind farm. The vibration she felt was created by wind-power turbines, one just 1,100 feet away. These were part of the Blue Sky Green Fields wind project, 88 wind towers owned and operated by We Energies. The owners of the house complained of ringing in their ears anytime the wind turbines and their 100-foot blades were spinning.
10 Sep 2009

Bill would overrule local rules on windmills

Either way, the sound of wind turbines is making more ears perk up as a bill moves forward in the Legislature that would empower the Public Service Commission to create statewide rules governing wind power and pre-empt local government control over their placement. The rules would govern the distance between turbines and homes along with their noise and the flicker effects of shadows from their turbine blades.
29 Aug 2009

New bills to strip municipalities of wind farm control; Residents of Arlington voice concern over measures

Two bills currently before both houses of the state legislature would give more of that kind of control to Wisconsin's Public Service Commission, taking it away from municipalities. "I'd rather have my town board be able to have my destiny in their hands, rather than three guys appointed by the governor," said McIlrath. Wind energy firm, Wind Capital told WISC-TV that they are conducting land and wind surveys in the area, but have no long term contracts for projects.
12 Aug 2009

Wisconsin wind farm siting legislation accounts for neighbors

A state senate panel has advanced a bill that would create a statewide standard for siting wind farms in Wisconsin. But senators changed the plan to add protections for people who live near the massive wind turbines. ...under a provision passed by a senate panel, the PSC would have to consider the health effects of wind turbines when they decide how far to set them back from homes.
5 Aug 2009

Senate committee approves amended wind energy system siting bill

A state Senate committee today voted 6-1 to approve a bill to establish statewide siting standards for wind energy projects. "It's time to make decisions and if we are to get away from reliance on Mideast oil, we need to find a way to site these wind energy systems," said Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Kenosha. Senate Bill 185 directs the state Public Service Commission to work on statewide siting standards.
4 Aug 2009

Court ruling wipes out local wind ordinances

A recent Wisconsin appeals court ruling wipes away ordinances written in Union and Magnolia townships to regulate wind energy systems, experts say. ..."Even though we apparently wasted $40,000 coming up with an ordinance, I don't think the money was completely wasted because I think we have solid, scientific facts that will give our community and the Union Town Board the basis for evaluating these proposals on a case-by-case basis."
3 Aug 2009

Lawmakers question renewable energy goals

It is a mistake for Wisconsin officials to focus on their goal of generating 25 percent of energy from renewable sources without keeping in mind the other 75 percent, according to state lawmakers. "If, in 16 years' time, we've got coal or nuclear plants being retired, we need to know what we're replacing that with," said state Rep. Jim Soletski, D-Green Bay. Still, Soletski said, the state's 25 percent by 2025 goal makes it difficult to break the focus on renewable energy - even for him.
3 Aug 2009

Ruling reopens wind energy debate in Calumet County; Court voids Calumet's wind turbine policy

A wind energy debate that's turned neighbor against neighbor in Calumet County took a new turn last week through 13 pages prepared by a three-judge panel. A county ordinance that regulated wind turbines is no longer valid, according the state Court of Appeals. Officials said it's too early to tell what the decision will mean to the future of wind energy in Calumet County.
19 Jul 2009

Wis. court tosses local wind turbine regulations

A Wisconsin appeals court on Wednesday effectively struck down numerous municipal ordinances that have slowed the development of wind energy, lawyers said. Local governments cannot pass broad rules dictating how far wind turbines must be from other buildings, how tall they can be or how much noise they can produce, the Waukesha-based District 2 Court of Appeals ruled.
15 Jul 2009

Minnesota wind farm prompts Wisconsin vote

State regulators plan to vote Thursday on a Wisconsin utility's plans to build a massive wind farm in southern Minnesota. Wisconsin Power & Light Co., a subsidiary of Madison-based Alliant Energy, wants permission to start the first phase of the farm on 32,500 acres just north of Albert Lea in Freeborn County. Plans call for scores of turbines that would generate about 200 megawatts of electricity.
8 Jul 2009

Officials urge state wind rules

Wisconsin Rapids officials are working to create a policy regulating small wind-energy systems but want legislators in Madison to create a statewide law for consistency. With a planned 350,000-square-foot plant expected to produce large, industrial wind turbine blades, the city currently has no rules regulating smaller, more residential wind mills, Mayor Mary Jo Carson said.
7 Jul 2009

Wind farm bills survive public lashing

More than eight hours of public testimony mostly opposed to state guidelines for wind farm placement did little to kill bills that would limit local control of the energy developments. ...But Plale said the bills are just a start. "We're not creating an answer," he said. "We're creating a mechanism for this discussion to take place."
13 May 2009

Wisconsin eyes wind import possibilities

There is no guarantee a wind farm construction boom will follow if Wisconsin establishes statewide standards for where such developments can be built. ...With resources available beyond state borders and Alliant employees testifying Wednesday the company projects diminishing opportunities for new generation, opponents could argue more wind turbines in Wisconsin are unnecessary, said Lynda Barry-Kawula, co-founder of the renewable energy group Better Plan Wisconsin.
30 Apr 2009

NY wants wind projects in Great Lakes

A New York state utility is exploring whether it is possible to put electricity-generating wind turbines in the Great Lakes, rather than inland or along the shoreline. The state-owned New York Power Authority on Wednesday began asking potential developers how they would go about constructing an offshore wind project in Lake Erie or Lake Ontario.
23 Apr 2009
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