Articles from Wisconsin
A federal judge has blocked a power line under construction in Iowa and Wisconsin from crossing the Mississippi River after finding the government’s environmental review was inadequate. Judge William Conley’s ruling throws the fate of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line into question just months after utilities began construction on the $492 million project. ...The utilities announced they had begun work on the Wisconsin portion of the $492 million project despite an injunction temporarily prohibiting work on or near federally-protected waters.
Regulators have approved the purchase of a proposed wind farm in southwestern Wisconsin that is the state’s first project approved under 12-year-old rules designed to make the process easier for developers. The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to authorize Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and Madison Gas and Electric to spend $162 million on the Red Barn Wind Farm as part of long-term strategies to phase out coal-fired power plants and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are relieved and gratified that the Highland Wind Farm project has been stopped, once and for all. We thank the leadership of Leeward for dong the right thing for our community, but also for the environment,” said Jaime Junker, chair of the Forest Town Board. “Although I am only one board member and it is not practical for the town board to make a formal statement as a board without a board meeting, in time the board will have a chance to put perspective to its and the residents of Forest more than ten-year opposition of the Highland Wind Farm,” he said.
Commissioner Ellen Nowak, the commission’s lone Republican appointee, questioned the premise of the investigation, dubbed the “Roadmap to Zero Carbon.” “Operating the grid with zero carbon as we know it now is a dangerous thing,” she said. “A roadmap to zero carbon is the wrong road to go down. I think we need to go down a road to cleaner energy.” ...“We don’t have a plan to get to literal zero carbon by 2050,” said Commissioner Tyler Huebner. “But we don’t need to solve that today.”
The fate of 250 square miles of the beautiful Driftless region is in the hands of about 50 landowners.
"[The moratorium] kind of just stops everything, gives everybody some breathing room to make some decisions," said town supervisor Matt Krenz. The moratorium gives the town board time to consider an ordinance that will set ground rules for wind developers hoping to set up turbines in the town.
We are all familiar with these last few decades trying to show environmental importance and pushing a much-needed appreciative attitude of our environment. It has been incredible to see how far our society has come in caring for our earth, but have we gone far enough?
A controversial Green County wind farm — one of only a handful under development in Wisconsin — has been scrapped. EDF Renewables had planned to build 24 turbines in the town of Jefferson near the Illinois border.
The Windaction Group is deeply sadden to hear of Dr. Jay Tibbetts passing. Dr. Tibbetts was a long time physician, a member of the Brown County (Wisconsin) Board of Health and Medical Adviser to the Brown County Health Department. He will long be remembered as a rare public official with the willingness to listen to his constituents regarding the health impacts of wind turbine noise and the courage to put their human health risks ahead of the county's financial interests. In 2014, Dr. Tibbetts was instrumental in the Board of Health declaring a local industrial wind plant as a human health hazard. Brown County’s health code defines a human health hazard as “a substance, activity or condition that is known to have the potential to cause acute or chronic illness or death if exposure to the substance, activity or condition is not abated.” Dr. Tibbetts will be missed. Our thoughts are with his family during this sad time.
Wisconsin regulators voted Thursday to deny a request from some Green County residents to stop construction of a controversial wind farm near Monroe. The 65-megawatt Sugar River Wind project proposed by EDF Renewables would consist of 24 turbines in the town of Jefferson near the Illinois border.
Conservationists hoped the site would someday be added to Nelson Dewey’s former estate, now a state park. Or perhaps absorbed into the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, a meandering stretch of protected river bluffs and flood plains where migratory birds breed and bald eagles spend the winter. Instead, Wisconsin ratepayers — and others as far away as Michigan and downstate Illinois — could be forced to pay clout-heavy energy companies more than $1 billion for a new high-voltage power line that would start near the Dewey substation.
The Highland Wind proposal would inject more than 40 wind turbines that are 50 stories tall into a largely residential area in St. Croix County, which is within commuting distance of the Twin Cities and its job-creating economy. The impact on local property values and the tax base could prove devastating.
The environmental groups claim PSC Chair Rebecca Cameron Valcq and Commissioner Mike Huebsch should have recused themselves from the case because of their ties to utility groups supporting the project. Valcq previously served as regulatory counsel for We Energies, whose parent company WEC Energy Group also owns about 60 percent of American Transmission Co., one of the developers of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line.
The Clear Creek Town Board approved a one-year moratorium Monday night on wind farm development in the town. The action came in response to overwhelming demand from town residents who attended a special meeting last week about a proposed 200-megawatt wind farm in southern Eau Claire County. ...Eau Claire County Supervisor Carl Anton said he plans to deliver a copy of the moratorium to the county’s Planning and Development Committee today.
The action is the result of a special meeting of the Town Board on Tuesday at which residents voted 60-15 to direct the board to draft the moratorium. The board plans to adopt it at its Monday meeting.
The Clear Creek Town Board will draft a moratorium on wind energy development at its meeting next week in response to overwhelming demand from town residents who attended a meeting Tuesday night about a proposed wind farm in southern Eau Claire County. More than 100 people showed up at an informational meeting Tuesday night at Clear Creek Town Hall to share their views about the potential wind farm, with many calling for a moratorium to give residents more time to study the pros and cons on wind energy.
After a nearly decade-long battle, a western Wisconsin town has declared victory over a proposed wind farm, though the developer insists the beleaguered project is not dead. If built, it would be only the second new Wisconsin wind farm in eight years,
George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, said the construction and maintenance of the towers would have “significant and undue adverse impacts on environmental values, including land and water resources.” Meyer said the WWF would continue to challenge the line at other state and federal agencies and if necessary in the courts.
"There is not sufficient evidence of record for this Commission to definitively conclude that the Cardinal-Hickory Creek (CHC) transmission line project is the highest priority energy option that is also cost effective and technically feasible as required by Wisconsin law," Wellinghoff, now the CEO of Grid Policy, Inc., a distributed energy consulting group, wrote in his testimony to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission.
WE Energies confirmed the turbine is part of the Glacier Hills Wind Park. The turbine poses no threat or immediate danger to the public. ...Officials are trying to evaluate how to put out the fire. The fire's cause is unknown at this time.