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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Siting Windpower: The View From the Minefield

From a presentation by Michael Vickerman Wind Powering America All States Summit in Anaheim, CA, May 26, 2011:

In January 2011, All Hell Broke Loose:
• PSC 128 [statewide wind siting rule] clears legislative review in December;
• Gov. Walker introduces bill Jan. 11 in special session (SB 9) that threatens to bring wind development to a standstill;
• Most important provision in SB 9: greatly extends minimum setback requirement;
• PSC rule: 1.1 x total height from property lines (400-500 ft.);
• SB 9: 1,800 feet from property lines.

How Problematic Are 1,800 ft. Setback Requirements to SitingWind Turbines?
Consider Glacier Hills – a 90-turbine wind project under construction in two townships in Columbia County characterized by a low density of population:
• No. of turbines beyond a 1,250 ft. setback requirement from non-participating residences: 75 to 80;
• No. of turbines beyond an 1,800 ft. setback requirement from property lines: 2 to 5.

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