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Monday, June 8, 2009

Wind Siting Reform Supports State Policy

SB 185/AB 256 will improve the regulatory climate in Wisconsin and advance current state energy policy. The erratic permitting environment for wind projects means that state policy is being blocked at the local level.

+ Current law requires that 10 percent of utilities’ electrical sales be generated from renewable resources by 2015.
+ Wind will be the workhorse for Wisconsin utilities. Between 75% and 95% of the energy needed to meet the 10% statewide target will be generated with wind.
+ The single biggest constraint to increasing wind generation in Wisconsin is the permitting environment, which is far more problematic here than in neighboring states.
+ Regulatory uncertainty increases project costs, harming Wisconsin ratepayers. The absence of statewide siting standards forces wind energy out of state forfeiting Wisconsin jobs and investment while adding transmission costs.
“We support SB 185/AB 256…Industrial customers are very concerned about electric rates and their impact on jobs in state. We want to do everything we can to hold down rates here in Wisconsin to keep our jobs here and stay competitive…This bill is one way of mitigating these costs. Wind is the only resource that will meet the current 10% renewable mandate. (Joint public hearing May 12, 2009)
-Todd Stuart, Executive Director of WIEG

“Wisconsin is counting on wind power to propel the state 90 percent of the way toward meeting a goal of more than doubling the renewable energy contribution to electric needs over the next six years.”
-Wisconsin State Journal (“A win for wind power in Wisconsin”)

“Wind power is not a passing fad. It has to be a part of the solution to weaning the U.S. from fossil fuels…Wisconsin has chosen to be a leader, not a follower in the use of renewable sources of energy.”
-Sheboygan Press (“Have uniform rules for siting wind turbines”)

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