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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wind siting bill back after stalling in '08

From a post on Tom Content's blog on JSOnline:

A bill to create uniform siting standards for wind power projects across Wisconsin is being introduced again after stalling a year ago.

Sen. Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee), chair of the Senate Energy and Utilities Committee, is circulating a bill that would call on the state Public Service Commission to develop uniform siting standards for wind power projects across the state.

Wisconsin state law requires large wind power proposals to be reviewed and approved by the state Public Service Commission, but leaves smaller projects in the hands of local governments.

Several counties and communities around the state have enacted ordinances that amount to bans on wind power, however. His bill would call on the state Public Service Commission to engage with counties, towns, utilities and others on developing a comprehensive set of standards that wind projects would have to follow.

“We made it a priority in this state to harness wind, and if we’re going to do that we can’t have one township or one village dictating energy policy for the rest of the state,” Plale said. “We have to have a comprehensive look at it. That’s what we’re getting at.”

Plale said the bill is expected to fare better this year because it is being handled earlier in the legislative session and there is less confusion about what the bill would do.

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