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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Weston committee approves ordinance for wind generators

From an article by Brian Reisinger in the Wausau Daily Herald:

WESTON -- The village Plan Commission on Monday approved an ordinance identifying wind as "an abundant, renewable and nonpolluting energy resource" to respond to growing interest among local businesses.

The Village Board could consider establishing rules on wind turbines at its meeting next Monday.

Jennifer Higgins, community development director and zoning administrator, said the village does not prohibit energy windmills but needs an ordinance to define what's acceptable.

"Right now, we don't have anything," she said.

The ordinance would permit "small wind energy systems" that have a capacity of 100 kilowatts or fewer and are no more than 170 feet tall.

At least three businesses -- Applied Laser Technologies, K&M Electric and Bullshooters Saloon -- are exploring wind energy as an option.

Chris Osswald, president of ALT, a metal fabrication shop, said a wind turbine would allow his company to address environmental concerns and potentially save money.

"It's important to how we do things," he said.

Mike Ritzel, an estimator and electrician with K&M, is exploring wind as an energy resource on behalf of the company. He's also considering Bullshooters, of which he is an owner, as a possible site to help encourage community interest as electric rates continue to rise.

"Nothing ever goes in reverse," he said of energy costs.

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