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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Developers seek to build large wind farm in St. Croix County

From an article by Clay Barbour in The Chippewa Herald:

MADISON – Developers have applied to the Public Service Commission for a permit to build a large wind farm in western Wisconsin, the first application of its kind in more than two years.

Emerging Energies applied this month to build Highland Wind Farm, a 41-turbine, 102.5-megawatt project in the St. Croix County towns of Forest and Cylon, about 25 miles east of the Minnesota border.

The application comes as new wind citing rules remain in limbo in the PSC, with officials trying to broker a deal between the wind industry and its critics.

William Rakocy, a founding member of Hubertus-based Emerging Energies, said his company understands there is still some uncertainty surrounding Wisconsin’s wind energy regulations, but he feels confident about the project.

“I guess we would like to believe that more reasonable minds will prevail,” he said.

The new wind siting rules, more than a year in the making, were suspended just before going into effect in March. Those rules required that wind turbines have a setback from the nearest property line of 1.1 times the height of the turbine, or roughly 450 feet. The rules also required turbines be no closer than 1,250 feet from the nearest residence.

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