Articles filed under General from Wisconsin
The Glacier Hills Wind Park, which could be the largest in the state, will rise from the farm fields of eastern Columbia County, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin decided Monday. But the three-member commission called for We Energies to meet several conditions in building the 90-turbine wind farm, including a minimum of 1,250 feet of distance between the turbines and the buildings on nonparticipating property; limits on the noise generated by the turbines; and the possibility that people whose property is surrounded by the turbines might have their property bought out.
We Energies can build the 90-turbine Glacier Hills Wind Park in Columbia County without a requirement to buy power from Chicago-based Invenergy LLC. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin on Monday approved the We Energies' proposal, expected to be the largest wind farm in state history. Commissioners denied a request by Invenergy that the project only be approved if We Energies agrees to also buy power from Invenergy's yet-to-be-built, 100-turbine farm near Green Bay.
We Energies will be allowed to build the Glacier Hills Wind Park northeast of Madison, but conditions imposed by regulators Monday make it unclear whether the project will be the largest wind farm in the state. The state Public Service Commission voted to authorize construction of the project, which consists of up to 90 turbines ...the commission imposed restrictions that require turbines to be built at least 1,250 feet from the homes of local residents who don't host wind turbines on their land.
Residents of eastern Columbia County should learn today whether wind energy turbines will be rising from the farm fields in the towns of Randolph and Scott. Discussion and a decision about the proposed We Energies wind farm is on the tentative agenda for the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin when the three-member body meets at 1 p.m. today.
State regulators will approve We Energies' proposal to build the Glacier Hills Wind Park. At the opening of the commission meeting Monday afternoon, commission chairman Eric Callisto and commissioner Lauren Azar said they will vote to approve the project.
State regulators on Monday will rule on We Energies' $413.5 million proposal to build the largest wind farm in the state. The Milwaukee utility is proposing a 90-turbine wind power project, the Glacier Hills Wind Park. ...The proposal has run into opposition from local residents as well as a Chicago wind-power developer that is proposing an alternative project.
Although state and local officials aren't confirming it yet, there were strong indications Friday that a Spanish manufacturer of wind-turbine generators may locate its new factory in Milwaukee - an investment projected to create 100 to 200 jobs. The Obama administration announced that Spanish energy company Ingeteam was awarded $1.66 million in clean-tech manufacturing tax credits to make wind turbine generators.
Gov. Jim Doyle has backed off a campaign promise that four University of Wisconsin campuses will be energy independent by 2012 after determining it was not practical as proposed. ...Some university officials say the original plan never made much sense because "going off the grid" would have required them to start producing their own electricity instead of buying it from utilities, which was not feasible or cost-effective.
We Energies got approval Thursday from the Columbia County Board's highway committee for variances that will allow for construction related to a proposed wind energy farm. ...The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin tentatively plans to decide in late January whether to grant permission for We Energies to build Glacier Hills Energy Park, on rented farmland spanning more than 17,300 acres.
Chicago-based Invenergy LLC wants to finance its 100-turbine wind farm project near Green Bay with We Energies' money and has put the decision in public service commissioners' hands. ...The problem for Invenergy is that while company executives are confident of getting project approval, they're not confident they can afford it. "The reality of the market today is that you need a long-term financing commitment to make these projects go," said Joe Condo, Invenergy's vice president and general counsel.
A wind farm developer proposing a large project in Brown County is urging state regulators to reject a similar project by another developer in Columbia County. Invenergy LLC has unveiled plans for 100 turbines to generate electricity south of Green Bay ...Invenergy is asking state regulators to reject the We Energies' proposal in Columbia County or approve both projects jointly.
Wisconsin Power & Light Co. customers will pay 6.4% more for electricity in 2010, after the state Public Service Commission voted Tuesday to pare back the Madison utility's request for an 11% price increase. The three commissioners authorized electricity price increase of about $60 million ...Among major factors behind the price hike are costs associated with the construction of the Bent Tree Wind farm and other construction projects, and the drop in sales related to the recession.
Calumet County supervisors jumped the gun on new wind turbine rules this summer even while asking the state Supreme Court to consider whether its old ordinance met legal muster. A denial from Wisconsin's justices will now require the county to put that early work to action. The state Supreme Court on Friday denied Calumet County's petition for review of an appeals court decision that invalidated the county's wind turbine rules. The ordinance dictated setbacks and maximum heights and sound levels for all turbine construction within its zoning jurisdiction.
Business has been slow, so dairy farmer Bernie Kozlovsky could use a little extra cash as much as the next guy. But a developer's offer of $6,000 annually for access to his property has Kozlovsky - and many of his neighbors - conflicted about whether to welcome a wind farm into southern Brown County. The proposal by Chicago-based Invenergy LLC would be Brown County's first major commercial wind farm and would be larger than any currently operating in the state.
Walter Wiersma considered introducing a photo of his children - 5-year-old Spencer and 3-year-old Rianna - into the written record of Wednesday's Public Service Commission of Wisconsin hearing to illustrate his opposition to electricity-generating wind turbines in northeast Columbia County. Wiersma, of Friesland, was one of many people at the standing-room-only hearings who said worries about the health effects, safety and noise from wind turbines, in a 17,300-acre area in the towns of Scott and Randolph, should lead the commission to reject the We Energies proposal for Glacier Hills Wind Park.
We Energies has run into some headwinds in its bid to build the biggest wind farm in the state. The Glacier Hills Wind Park project in Columbia County would consist of 90 turbines rising at least 400 feet above corn fields near the village of Friesland, northeast of Madison. The Milwaukee utility proposed the project, its second large wind farm, as part of an expansion of renewable energy to comply with a state law that passed with bipartisan support in 2006. The law calls for wind turbines and other renewable energy systems to power 10% of the state's electricity by 2015.
As talk of a 90-turbine wind farm in Columbia County has stirred up, similar discussions are taking place a little closer to home.
As the blades of the 86 turbines on the Forward Wind Energy Center remain still, rumors have been circulating faster than the wind as to why the wind farm has been offline since Sept. 29. Invenergy LLC officials attributed the shutdown to scheduled maintenance of the wind farm's substation. However, the latest buzz that a major utility pulled out of its power purchase contract and has left Invenergy without a new customer to fill the void simply isn't true.
Most of what the public knows about wind turbines comes from the media. Without a grounding in the sciences of thermodynamics and economics, the average person, eager to be politically and environmentally correct, fixates on the concept of "free energy," and closes his mind to further discussion of how expensive "free" can be. The public believes, more than it really knows, about wind turbines, and well-meaning advocates of wind as the solution to our climate and energy woes are unknowingly on a crash course with reality.
The potential effects of a wind energy farm proposed for eastern Columbia County were outlined in a final environmental impact statement, released this week by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. The document - composed of more than 100 pages, plus a second volume of maps, diagrams and photo simulations of how the wind turbines might change the vista in the farmland of the towns of Randolph and Scott - addresses issues such as noise, the turbines' effects on birds and bats, potential effects on agriculture and health and safety issues.