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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

RENEW Wisconsin testifies for reform of wind project permitting


Michael Vickerman (left), RENEW Wisconsin's executive director, listens to Curt Pawlisch, repesenting Wind for Wisconsin, during their testimony on May 12 in support of identical companion bills (Senate Bill 185 and Assembly Bill 256) to begin a process to create state-wide standards for wind siting in Wisconsin. Brian Rude of Dairyland Power looks on from the background.

From Vickerman's testimony:


By 2010, more than one-half of the wind energy serving Wisconsin utilities will come from neighboring states.

+ Crane Creek, a 99 MW project located in Iowa that Green Bay-based WPS will own, was permitted in 2008 and will be operating by 12/31/09.

+ Twin Creeks, a 98 MW project located in Manitowoc County in WPS territory, received a permit in 2005. Due to a combination of litigation and ordinance changes, ground was never broken. Under the current ordinance, it is highly unlikely that the Twin Creeks project will be built, even though it has a permit.

If Twin Creeks is not built:
+ Local governments lose $392,000/year in future revenues.
+ Local landowners lose $294,000/year in future rents.
+ A local component manufacturer loses a 98 MW order to build towers
+ Construction jobs are outsourced to Iowa.

If we don’t initiate a process to establish uniform permitting standards, it will be difficult for utilities to comply with an increased Renewable Energy Standard at any level above current law.

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