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Friday, February 24, 2012

Renewable Energy Touted for Value on Earth Day

A news release issued by RENEW Wisconsin based on a presentation by Don Wichert, RENEW executive director:
Renewable Energy Touted for Value on Earth Day
The price consumers pay for energy fails to account for the value of environmental improvement, energy diversity, and economic development, said Don Wichert, RENEW Wisconsin’s executive director, at an Earth Day information event at Wisconsin’s Capitol.

“In the case of solar energy, for example, this energy source offers the value proposition of very low or no air emissions, uses the energy available at the site, and keeps the energy dollars circulating through the local economy,” said Wichert.

Wichert compared renewable power to the value people pay for when choosing various vehicle transportation modes. Each takes you from one spot to another, but some offer more value that people are willing to pay for.

“Fossil based energy, in contrast, produces five to ten times more lifecycle green house gases, is dug out from the earth thousands of miles away from Wisconsin, and the majority of the money paid for this energy leaves the state,” Wichert said.

A recent survey of undecided Wisconsin voters showed that nearly 90% supported solar, wind, and hydro power as their preferred energy sources, according to Wichert.

“With thousands of examples of small distributed renewable energy applications in Wisconsin, as well as 12 wind farms, it’s clear that renewable energy works and has huge potential for the Badger state.”

All of the Earth Day presentations for “Wisconsin Climate Change and Jobs Forum, Challenges and Solutions” can be seen on the Capitol Eye network at Capitol Eye Earth Day Forum.

END

Friday, February 10, 2012

Pierce County wind farm plan still in limbo

From an article by Jeff Holmquist in the Pierce County Herald:

The future of a proposed wind farm project in St. Croix County remains in doubt, even as progress is being made on an application before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

The $250 million Highland Wind Project was first proposed about four years ago, when Emerging Energies of Wisconsin LLC approached the Town of Forest in northeast St. Croix County about its idea to install about 40 wind turbines on various properties. Studies of wind in the area proved that the region is well suited for the generation of wind energy. Average wind speeds in the town are about 16 to 17 mph, which is sufficient to turn a large turbine and thus generate electricity.

Since completion of the study, the company worked quickly to gain the necessary agreements, easements and approvals.

The project came to a screeching halt, however, when some township residents objected to having the large turbines scattered throughout the municipality. Some claimed the turbines posed a health risk, while others didn’t want the rural atmosphere of Forest to be compromised.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Wisconsin lawmakers weary of wind setback issue

From an article by Dan Haugen on Midwest Energy News:

Wisconsin’s politically contested wind-turbine siting rules would quietly go back on the books if the state’s legislature doesn’t take up the issue this session.

While it’s premature for wind energy supporters to declare victory, the rules’ opponents appear to have little appetite for reopening the controversy, according to observers.

“This is an issue they don’t want to have anything to do with right now,” says Michael Vickerman, director of Renew Wisconsin, a renewable energy advocacy group. “It’s kind of reached the radioactive phase.”
The first-in-the-nation rules were aimed at streamlining the messy, often shifting patchwork of local setback rules, which govern the distance wind developers need to leave between turbines and adjacent homes. A 2009 law instructed regulators to comes up with a statewide setback policy. After two years of hearings and debate, they issued rules restricting turbines from within 1,250 feet of neighboring residences.

On the day the rules were to take effect last March, however, a Republican-controlled legislative committee voted along party lines to suspend the statewide rules. Gov. Scott Walker instead proposed an 1,800-foot setback from the nearest property line, which the American Wind Energy Association said would essentially shut down the state’s wind industry.

Since then, wind developers have cited regulatory uncertainty in suspending or canceling five major developments totaling $1.6 billion in economic investment. Vickerman says wind energy supporters have successfully highlighted the economic consequences of Walker’s action, which is why party leadership seems to have lost interest in the fight.

“These guys are afraid because the issue has boomeranged on them,” says Vickerman. “Scott Walker does not really want to be known as someone who has killed jobs by basically shutting down the commercial wind industry in Wisconsin, and neither do the legislative leaders.”

Wisconsin lawmakers weary of wind setback issue

From an article by Dan Haugen on Midwest Energy News:

Wisconsin’s politically contested wind-turbine siting rules would quietly go back on the books if the state’s legislature doesn’t take up the issue this session.

While it’s premature for wind energy supporters to declare victory, the rules’ opponents appear to have little appetite for reopening the controversy, according to observers.

“This is an issue they don’t want to have anything to do with right now,” says Michael Vickerman, director of Renew Wisconsin, a renewable energy advocacy group. “It’s kind of reached the radioactive phase.”
The first-in-the-nation rules were aimed at streamlining the messy, often shifting patchwork of local setback rules, which govern the distance wind developers need to leave between turbines and adjacent homes. A 2009 law instructed regulators to comes up with a statewide setback policy. After two years of hearings and debate, they issued rules restricting turbines from within 1,250 feet of neighboring residences.

On the day the rules were to take effect last March, however, a Republican-controlled legislative committee voted along party lines to suspend the statewide rules. Gov. Scott Walker instead proposed an 1,800-foot setback from the nearest property line, which the American Wind Energy Association said would essentially shut down the state’s wind industry.

Since then, wind developers have cited regulatory uncertainty in suspending or canceling five major developments totaling $1.6 billion in economic investment. Vickerman says wind energy supporters have successfully highlighted the economic consequences of Walker’s action, which is why party leadership seems to have lost interest in the fight.

“These guys are afraid because the issue has boomeranged on them,” says Vickerman. “Scott Walker does not really want to be known as someone who has killed jobs by basically shutting down the commercial wind industry in Wisconsin, and neither do the legislative leaders.”

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Small Businesses Request Resumption of Renewable Energy Support

For immediate release
January 31, 2012

Small Businesses Request Resumption of Renewable Energy Support
Over 150 small businesses, organizations, schools, and local officials appealed to the Public Service Commission (PSC) to restore full funding for a nationally recognized renewable energy program that reduces the cost of solar, wind, and biomass installations for Wisconsin utility customers.

In an open letter delivered to the PSC yesterday, the signers asked the PSC to “to exercise its oversight authority over Focus on Energy and restore funding, without delay, for renewables at a level consistent with previous years’ allocations.”

The impetus for the open letter arose from RENEW Wisconsin’s Energy Policy Summit held two weeks ago in Madison. At the summit, the 140 people who participated asked RENEW to make Focus on Energy funding restoration its highest policy priority for 2012.

Focus on Energy suspended its support for customer-sited renewable energy systems last July, when rising demand for renewables outstripped available funds. The program administrator said that incentives will be resumed later this year, but no firm timeline has been set.

“This problem needs to be fixed as expeditiously as possible before the funding interruption permanently damages Wisconsin’s renewable energy marketplace,” said Michael Vickerman, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide, nonprofit renewable energy advocacy organization.

“A number of renewable energy installers and contractors are already feeling the effects of the funding hiatus, and the result is less new hiring and potential layoffs down the road. However, we remain optimistic that once funding is restored renewable energy development will once again become a dynamic economic sector and a source of new jobs here in Wisconsin,” said Vickerman.

An Open Letter to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
January 30, 2012

In 2002, the State of Wisconsin began offering incentives from Focus on Energy to encourage tangible and significant savings with the implementation of distributed renewable energy systems. By employing a small fraction of the funds available to Focus on Energy for this purpose, the vast majority of customer-sited solar, wind, biogas and biomass projects now operating in Wisconsin received critical financial support. In under 10 years, Focus on Energy succeeded in building an in-state marketplace that supported steady growth of new businesses and jobs in manufacturing, distributing, designing, installing and servicing renewable energy systems. It is no exaggeration to say that the renewable energy program run by Focus on Energy was a nationally recognized as a model for other states to follow.

It’s a very different picture today. For the first time since 2002, Wisconsin business and residential customers entered the new year without a functioning statewide renewable energy program in place. Focus on Energy said that it intends to resume offering incentives for renewables later this year, but has not set a timeline for restoration of funding or services. Nor is there any information available as to whether the renewable products and services supported in the past will be supported again, and, if so, at what levels. What was a successful engine for advancing small-scale renewables in Wisconsin is now, for frustrated businesses and customers alike, a source of vague assurances and little else.

Unfortunately, the ongoing lack of support and uncertainty is guaranteed to cause layoffs and business cutbacks. Furthermore, it is contrary to state law, which specifies that Focus on Energy support customer use of renewable energy as well as energy efficiency. Without the products and services to fuel the renewable market, 2012 will usher in a period of contraction that portends significant declines in installations, accelerated job losses, and increased business migration to markets in other states.

In our view, the most economically efficient way to transition Wisconsin to a sustainable energy future is to pair an aggressive conservation and efficiency program with products and services that increase the market drivers for on-site renewable energy production. Both approaches mutually reinforce each other while delivering economic benefits to customers. Adopting energy efficiency enables customers to reduce the size of their renewable energy investments, and on-site renewables allow customers to lower all or part of their energy bills going forward.

We support the conclusions reached by Commissioner Eric Callisto regarding the economic returns to ratepayers and the public generated by Focus on Energy’s programs. As part of a recent proceeding on Focus on Energy, Commissioner Callisto wrote:

Focus programs save energy, help offset the need for new power generation, lower utility bills, create jobs, reduce fossil fuel emissions, and support broad-based economic development in Wisconsin. And in study after study, it is shown that these benefits are produced at a ratio that far exceeds program costs. As the LAB report points out, the benefit-cost ratio for Focus programs is as high as 7.2 to 1, when taking into account economic metrics like job creation and increased business sales. That is more than seven dollars in benefit to Wisconsin for every dollar invested. http://psc.wi.gov/apps35/ERF_view/viewdoc.aspx?docid=158228

The impressive payback from Focus on Energy is sufficient reason for restoring the renewable energy funding that had been a key feature of that program. Given the near certainty of rising electric rates as the price of delivered coal continues to climb, as coal pollution equipment is mandated to meet new regulations, and to pay for new transmission, we cannot afford any more backsliding by not supporting in-state, distributed renewables. The ongoing funding hiatus for renewables is inconsistent with state law. The Commission has a responsibility to fix this problem immediately, before the lack of support for renewables permanently damages Wisconsin’s renewable energy marketplace. We the undersigned call upon the Public Service Commission to exercise its oversight authority over Focus on Energy and restore funding, without delay, for renewables at a level consistent with previous years’ allocations.

Sincerely,
  • John Ahles Solar System Owner Neenah, WI 
  • Jeff Anthony American Wind Energy Association Milwaukee, WI 
  • Steve Arndt, Director of Facilities Management UW-Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI 
  • Michael Arney, Green Neighbor, Inc. Wauwatosa, WI 
  • Peter Bakken, Public Policy Coordinator Wisconsin Council of Churches Sun Prairie, WI 
  • Rich Bannen, Owner Prairie Solar Power & Light Prairie du Chien, WI 
  • Bruce Barker, President Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI 
  • Barb Basaj SunSpe, LLC Milwaukee, WI 
  • David Behnke-Seper First Affirmative Financial Network Chili, WI 
  • Rick Bergman Aquilo Wind Development Glendale, WI Oscar Bloch Arboretum Co-Housing Madison, WI 
  • Hans Jr. and Katie Breitenmoser Breitenmoser Family Farms Merrill, WI 
  • Thomas Brown, Architect Stevens Point, WI 
  • Brent Brucker, General Manager Helios Solar Works Milwaukee, WI 
  • Justin Castleman Castleman & Sons Plumbing Franklin, WI 
  • Chris Collins, Marketing Director H&H Solar Energy Services Madison, WI 
  • Becky Comeau Southwest Community Biofuels LaFarge, WI 
  • Lisa Conley, President Town and Country RC&D Jefferson, WI 
  • Lisa Daniels, Executive Director Windustry Minneapolis, MN 
  • Mark Dawson Sand Creek Solar Amherst, WI 
  • Susan De Vos Madison Area Bus Advocates Madison, WI 
  • Tom DeBates, Owner Habi-Tek Geneva, IL 
  • Michael Dearing, Owner Driftless Solar Spring Green, WI 
  • Trang Donovan Unlimited Renewable Energies Prairie du Sac, WI 
  • Thomas Duffy, President Commercial Air, Inc. Madison, WI 
  • Jeff Ehlers, President Renewegy LLC Oshkosh, WI 
  • Jim Erdman Solar Electric and Small Wind Certified Site Assessor Menomonie, WI 
  • James Erickson, Owner Antech Properties Janesville, WI 
  • Brian Evans, Production Manager Associated Housewrights Madison, WI 
  • Jerry Eyler, Executive Dean Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI
  • Randy Faller, Owner Kettle View Renewable Energy Random Lake, WI 
  • Jay Farnsworth, Teacher Waunakee School District Waunakee, WI 
  • Pete Flesch, Chair, Crawford County Board of Supervisors Prairie du Chien, WI 
  • Scott Freier Freiers Electric and Heating Ellsworth, WI
  • Greg Fritsch, CEO Clean Energy North America Glendale, WI 
  • Jim Funk, Owner Energize LLC Winneconne, WI Mark Furst Grading Spaces LLC Fort Atkinson, WI 
  • Rex Gillespie Wisconsin Solar Energy Industries Madison, WI 
  • David Goepfert, President Thermal Design, Inc. Stoughton, WI 
  • Grant Grinstead Northern Biogas Fond du Lac, WI 
  • David Hansen, Owner Lake Country Energy Oconomowoc, WI 
  • Daniel Harkins, Manager Trantow Properties LLC Stoughton, WI 
  • Ryan Harkins, Project Manager Synergy Renewable Systems LLC Stoughton, WI 
  • Michael Harvey Able Electric Co. River Falls, WI 
  • Mark Heffernan, President CBT Wear Parts, Inc. Bio-Products Engineering Corp. Richland Center, WI 
  • Charlie Higley, Executive Director Citizens Utility Board Madison, WI 
  • John Hippensteel, President Lake Michigan Wind and Sun Sturgeon Bay, WI 
  • Lou Host-Jablonski, Architect Design Coalition Madison, WI 
  • John Imes, Executive Director Wisconsin Environmental Initiative Madison, WI 
  • Greg Jahnke, Manager, Renewable Energy Pieper Electric Milwaukee, WI 
  • Micah James, General Manager Energycraft Synergy Systems, LLC Stoughton, WI 
  • Jennifer Jenkins, Executive Director Distributed Wind Energy Association Flagstaff, AZ 
  • Brad Johnson, Director, Business Development Green Sky Energetics Manitowoc, WI 
  • James Jozwiak Black Magic Organics Spencer, WI 
  • Andrea Kaminski League of Women Voters Wisconsin Education Network Madison, WI 
  • Roger Kanitz ECOS – Fox Valley Menasha, WI 
  • James Kerbel Photovoltaic Systems LLC Amherst, WI 
  • Duane Kexel Duane Kexel Consulting Madison, WI 
  • Chris Klein Town of Dayton Waupaca, WI 
  • Joe Klein Applied Plastics Oak Creek, WI 
  • Mark Klein Gimme Shelter Construction Amherst, WI 
  • Richard Klemme, Dean and Director UW Extension - Cooperative Extension Madison, WI 
  • Randy Knox Solar PV System Owner Whitewater, WI 
  • Jeff Knutson, Owner A-A Exteriors, com Waupaca, WI 
  • Kurt Koepp, Manager Hot Water Products Milwaukee, WI 
  • Fritz Kreiss Community Green Energy LLC, Lake Geneva, WI 
  • Eco-Vision Sustainable Learning Center, Inc., Lake Geneva, WI Green Leaf Inn LLC, Delavan, WI 
  • Larry Krom, Principal L&S Technical Associates Spring Green, WI 
  • Christopher LaForge, Owner Great Northern Solar Port Wing, WI 
  • Alicia Leinberger, Marketing and Development Manager Seventh Generation Energy Systems Madison, WI 
  • Jesse Lerner Sustain Dane Madison, WI 
  • Doug Lindsey Lakeshore Technical College - Energy Education Center Cleveland, WI 
  • Timothy Linn, Partner/Builder Edge Grain LLC Milwaukee, WI 
  • Vicki Lipinski, Marketing and Sales Coordinator Procorp Enterprises Milwaukee, WI 
  • Jeanne Lisse Madison Computer Works Madison, WI 
  • Mark Lydon Artisan Energy LLC Marshall, WI 
  • Randy Mader Faith Technologies Sun Prairie, WI 
  • Tom Martin, CEO Convergence Energy Lake Geneva, WI 
  • Neil Matthes Duck Creek Engineering, Inc. Helenville, WI 
  • Nick Matthes Midwest Photovoltaics, Inc. Milwaukee, WI 
  • Heather McCombs Wisconsin Green Building Alliance Milwaukee, WI 
  • Natalie McIntire enMac Energy Consulting Viroqua, WI 
  • Christine Merritt, Ph.D TAPCO – Traffic and Parking Control, Inc. Brown Deer, WI 
  • Eric Meyer Werner Electric Wisconsin Neenah, WI 
  • Jesse Michalski Eland Electric Corporation Green Bay, WI 
  • Randy Moberg Werner Electric Minnesota Cottage Grove, MN 
  • Gerd Muehllehner Retgen Solar LLC North Freedom, WI 
  • Ingrid Nahm Appleton Solar Appleton, WI 
  • Dan Nemke US Biogas LLC Mequon, WI 
  • Andy Olsen Environmental Law & Policy Center Madison, WI 
  • Jim Olson E3Coalition Viroqua, WI 
  • Burke O’Neal, Director Full Spectrum Solar Madison, WI 
  • Robert H. Owen, Jr. Consulting Engineer/Meteorologist Middleton, WI 
  • Hon. Joe Parisi Dane County Executive Madison, WI 
  • George Penn Global Energy Options Madison, WI 
  • Katie Peterman, Manager, Cooperative Affairs Organic Valley Family of Farms LaFarge, WI Ted Petith Greenlink Projects, LLC Madison, WI 
  • Greg Phillips American Power, Inc. Electrical Contractors Janesville, WI 
  • Eric Pipkin Pipkin Electric, Inc. Sparta, WI 
  • John Price Access Solar LLC Waukesha, WI 
  • Chris Quandt, Senior Project Manager Bachmann Construction Madison, WI 
  • Bob Ramlow Artha Sustainable Energy Center Amherst, WI 
  • Alex Rein Verona, WI 
  • Kurt Reinhold Solar Connections LLC Madison, WI 
  • Ed Ritger Ritger Law Office Random Lake, WI 
  • Cathy Robinson Chippewa Valley Alternative Energy Chippewa Falls, WI 
  • Rik Rosenlund Midwest Solar Power Madison, WI 
  • Mick Sagrillo Sagrillo Power & Light Forestville, WI
  • Kris Schmid Legacy Solar LLC Frederic, WI 
  • Brian Schwaller EcoManity LLC, Owner The Sustainable Living Group, President Elkhart Lake, WI 
  • Al Schulz, Owner/CEO Safe Work La Crosse, WI Jeff Seidl, President I-Quip Seymour, WI 
  • Roy Settgas, Owner Sunrise Energy Services Washburn, WI 
  • Carl Siegrist Carl Siegrist Consulting Whitefish Bay, WI 
  • Wes Slaymaker WES Engineering Madison, WI 
  • Chuck Smith, President Current Electric Company Brookfield, WI 
  • Judy Spring Sustain Sauk County Baraboo, WI 
  • Zeus Stark, Owner Next Step Energy LLC Eau Claire, WI 
  • Doug Stingle, Development Director Midwest Renewable Energy Association Custer, WI
  • Josh Stolzenburg North Wind Renewable Energy, LLC Stevens Point, WI 
  • Amy Taivalkoski, Principal ALT Energy Sussex, WI 
  • Craig Tarr, President Energy Concepts Hudson, WI 
  • Dave Tebo, Administrator Town of Greenville Greenville, WI 
  • Neale Thompson Janesville Home and Solar Janesville, WI 
  • Todd Timmerman Timmerman’s Talents LLC Platteville, WI 
  • Melissa Van Ornum DVO, Inc. Chilton, WI 
  • Michael Vickerman, Policy Director RENEW Wisconsin Madison, WI 
  • Jerry Viste Door County Environmental Council Sturgeon Bay, WI 
  • Larry Walker Walker Energy Systems Madison, WI 
  • Ray Walter, Ph.D, President MyEnergy, LLC Pewaukee, WI 
  • Michael Ward E & W Heating and Air Conditioning Middleton, WI 
  • David Washebek, President/CEO Lemberg Electric Company Brookfield, WI Frank Weeks 
  • D H Solar Prairie du Chien, WI Robert 
  • Weier, Vice President ELEXCO, Inc. Seymour, WI 
  • Laura West, West Winds Renewable Resources, LLC Plover, WI 
  • Sr. Janet Weyker, Director Eco-Justice Center Racine, WI 
  • Terry Wiggins Earth Justice Ministry of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI 
  • Sally Wiley, Gaea’s Farm Walworth, WI
  • Tom Wilson HOME REMEDIES Residential Energy Services, Viroqua, WI 
  • Northern Thunder, Eau Claire, WI 
  • Dona Wininsky American Lung Association in Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI 
  • Dean Wolff Milwaukee Solar Milwaukee, WI 
  • Niels Wolter, Owner Madison Solar Consulting Madison, WI 
  • Mark Yeager Sun & Daughters Solar, LLC Rhinelander, WI 
  • Jim Yockey, CEO Seventh Generation Systems Integration Madison, WI 
  • John Young Resource Solar Madison, WI 
  • Bruce Zahn, Architect Milwaukee, WI 
  • Michael Zander, CEO Biogas Direct Sauk City, WI
  • Ed Zinthefer, President Arch Electric, LLC Plymouth, WI
- END -

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

PSC must establish wind energy rules

From an editorial in the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

A committee wants Brown County to ask the state to pay medical bills for anyone becoming sick because of wind turbines, but we don't think it's the county's place to make such a move.

The human services committee voted last week to seek emergency aid for families near the Shirley Wind Farm in the town of Glenmore, blaming the state for allowing what supervisors said was "irresponsible placement" of wind turbines. Several people testified to the committee that they or their neighbors have experienced conditions such as anxiety, depression and weight loss and fear they have been exposed to a greater cancer risk.

We feel for local residents who believe their health has been compromised by wind turbines. But until the state establishes setback rules and other regulations governing wind turbines, the county's effort in this case is futile. . . .

If county supervisors want to make recommendations on setback limits or other issues involving wind turbines, they should do that and forward their opinions to the state. But a resolution seeking compensation for medical bills comes with the assumption that the wind turbines caused the problems in Glenmore. That's a conclusion that hasn't been determined.

Brown County has been a focus area for wind energy companies in recent years. The landscape is conducive to the placement of turbines because the topography helps produce a steady wind flow. An advocacy group — Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy — has lobbied for greater setback distances, saying turbines too close to residences and schools pose potential health problems.

The opposition led Illinois-based Invenergy Inc. to withdraw its plans to build a 100-turbine wind farm in the towns of Morrison and Glenmore.

The wind energy industry cites, with good reason, the fact that wind turbines provide a useful and necessary energy source. They also provide financial compensation for land owners who agree to have wind turbines erected on their property.

Still, some opponents say the negatives outweigh the benefits. Some have also claimed the turbines lower property values.

The responsibility for establishing wind energy rules rests with the Public Service Commission. A legislative committee suspended the PSC's proposed turbine siting rules 11 months ago and instructed the state agency to work on a compromise that would be acceptable to both sides. PSC spokeswoman Kristin Ruesch told the Green Bay Press-Gazette Monday that no such compromise has been reached. She also said she doesn't think the issue of medical bill payments has been part of the discussions.

We urge the PSC to accelerate the discussions to reach a compromise that will be acceptable to both sides and the state Legislature.

PSC must establish wind energy rules

From an editorial in the Green Bay Press-Gazette:

A committee wants Brown County to ask the state to pay medical bills for anyone becoming sick because of wind turbines, but we don't think it's the county's place to make such a move.

The human services committee voted last week to seek emergency aid for families near the Shirley Wind Farm in the town of Glenmore, blaming the state for allowing what supervisors said was "irresponsible placement" of wind turbines. Several people testified to the committee that they or their neighbors have experienced conditions such as anxiety, depression and weight loss and fear they have been exposed to a greater cancer risk.

We feel for local residents who believe their health has been compromised by wind turbines. But until the state establishes setback rules and other regulations governing wind turbines, the county's effort in this case is futile. . . .

If county supervisors want to make recommendations on setback limits or other issues involving wind turbines, they should do that and forward their opinions to the state. But a resolution seeking compensation for medical bills comes with the assumption that the wind turbines caused the problems in Glenmore. That's a conclusion that hasn't been determined.

Brown County has been a focus area for wind energy companies in recent years. The landscape is conducive to the placement of turbines because the topography helps produce a steady wind flow. An advocacy group — Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy — has lobbied for greater setback distances, saying turbines too close to residences and schools pose potential health problems.

The opposition led Illinois-based Invenergy Inc. to withdraw its plans to build a 100-turbine wind farm in the towns of Morrison and Glenmore.

The wind energy industry cites, with good reason, the fact that wind turbines provide a useful and necessary energy source. They also provide financial compensation for land owners who agree to have wind turbines erected on their property.

Still, some opponents say the negatives outweigh the benefits. Some have also claimed the turbines lower property values.

The responsibility for establishing wind energy rules rests with the Public Service Commission. A legislative committee suspended the PSC's proposed turbine siting rules 11 months ago and instructed the state agency to work on a compromise that would be acceptable to both sides. PSC spokeswoman Kristin Ruesch told the Green Bay Press-Gazette Monday that no such compromise has been reached. She also said she doesn't think the issue of medical bill payments has been part of the discussions.

We urge the PSC to accelerate the discussions to reach a compromise that will be acceptable to both sides and the state Legislature. Sincerely, Jeff Anthony American Wind Energy Association Milwaukee, WI Peter Bakken, Public Policy Coordinator Wisconsin Council of Churches Sun Prairie, WI Rich Bannen, Owner Prairie Solar Power & Light Prairie du Chien, WI Barb Basaj SunSpec, LLC Milwaukee, WI Thomas Brown, Architect Stevens Point, WI Brent Brucker, General Manager Helios Solar Works Milwaukee, WI Justin Castleman Castleman & Sons Plumbing Franklin, WI Chris Collins, Marketing Director H&H Solar Energy Services Madison, WI Lisa Conley, President Town and Country RC&D Jefferson, WI Lisa Daniels, Executive Director Windustry Minneapolis, MN Mark Dawson Sand Creek Solar Amherst, WI Susan De Vos Madison Area Bus Advocates Madison, WI Tom DeBates, Owner Habi-Tek Geneva, IL Michael Dearing, Owner Driftless Solar Spring Green, WI Trang Donovan Unlimited Renewable Energies Prairie du Sac, WI Jeff Ehlers, President Renewegy, LLC Oshkosh, WI Jim Erdman Solar Electric and Small Wind Certified Site Assessor Menomonie, WI James Erickson, Owner Antech Properties Janesville, WI Brian Evans, Production Manager Associated Housewrights Madison, WI Randy Faller, Owner Kettle View Renewable Energy Random Lake, WI Pete Flesch, Chair, Crawford County Board of Supervisors Prairie du Chien, WI Scott Freier Freiers Electric and Heating Ellsworth, WI Greg Fritsch, CEO Clean Energy North America Glendale, WI Jim Funk, Owner Energize, LLC Winneconne, WI Mark Furst Grading Spaces, LLC Fort Atkinson, WI David Goepfert, President Thermal Design, Inc. Stoughton, WI David Hansen, Proprietor Lake Country Energy Oconomowoc, WI Daniel Harkins, Manager Trantow Properties, LLC Stoughton, WI Ryan Harkins, Project Manager Synergy Renewable Systems, LLC Stoughton, WI Michael Harvey Able Electric Co. River Falls, WI Charlie Higley, Executive Director Citizens Utility Board Madison, WI John Hippensteel, President Lake Michigan Wind and Sun Sturgeon Bay, WI John Imes, Executive Director Wisconsin Environmental Initiative Madison, WI Micah James, General Manager Energycraft Synergy Systems, LLC Stoughton, WI Andrea Kaminski League of Women Voters Wisconsin Education Network Madison, WI James Kerbel Photovoltaic Systems, LLC Amherst, WI Joe Klein Applied Plastics Oak Creek, WI Richard Klemme, Dean and Director UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension Madison, WI Randy Knox System Owner Whitewater, WI Jeff Knutson A-A Exteriors, com Waupaca, WI Fritz Kreiss Community Green Energy, LLC, Lake Geneva, WI Eco-Vision Sustainable Learning Center, Inc., Lake Geneva, WI Green Leaf Inn, LLC, Delavan, WI Larry Krom L&S Technical Associates Spring Green, WI Alicia Leinberger, Marketing and Development Manager Seventh Generation Energy Systems Madison, WI Vicki Lipinski Marketing and Sales Coordinator Procorp Enterprises Milwaukee, WI Randy Mader Faith Technologies Sun Prairie, WI Tom Martin, CEO Convergence Energy Lake Geneva, WI Neil Matthes Duck Creek Engineering, Inc. Helenville, WI Heather McCombs Wisconsin Green Building Association Milwaukee, WI Natalie McIntire enMac Energy Consulting Viroqua, WI Christine Merritt, Ph.D TAPCO – Traffic and Parking Control, Inc. Brown Deer, WI Eric Meyer Werner Electric Wisconsin Neenah, WI Randy Moberg Werner Electric Minnesota Cottage Grove, MN Ingrid Nahm Appleton Solar Appleton, WI Andy Olsen Environmental Law & Policy Center Madison, WI Jim Olson E3Coalition Viroqua, WI Burke O’Neal, Director Full Spectrum Solar Madison, WI Robert H. Owen, Jr. Consulting Engineer/Meteorologist Middleton, WI George Penn Global Energy Options Madison, WI Katie Peterman, Manager, Cooperative Affairs Organic Valley Family of Farms LaFarge, WI Ted Petith Greenlink Projects, LLC Madison, WI Greg Phillips American Power, Inc. Electrical Contractors Janesville, WI Eric Pipkin Pipkin Electric, Inc. Sparta, WI John Price Access Solar, LLC Waukesha, WI Bob Ramlow Artha Sustainable Energy Center Amherst, WI Alex Rein Verona, WI Kurt Reinhold Solar Connections, LLC Madison, WI Ed Ritger Ritger Law Office Random Lake, WI Cathy Robinson Chippewa Valley Alternative Energy Chippewa Falls, WI Rik Rosenlund Midwest Solar Power Madison, WI Mick Sagrillo Sagrillo Power & Light Forestville, WI Kris Schmid Legacy Solar, LLC Frederic, WI Brian Schwaller, Owner EcoManity, LLC (owner) The Sustainable Living Group (president) Elkhart Lake, WI Al Schulz, Owner/CEO Safe Work La Crosse, WI Roy Settgas, Owner Sunrise Energy Services Washburn, WI Carl Siegrist Carl Siegrist Consulting Whitefish Bay, WI Wes Slaymaker WES Engineering Madison, WI Judy Spring Sustain Sauk County Baraboo, WI Zeus Stark, Owner Next Step Energy Eau Claire, WI Doug Stingle, Development Director Midwest Renewable Energy Association Custer, WI Josh Stolzenburg North Wind Renewable Energy, LLC Stevens Point, WI Amy Taivalkoski, Principal ALT Energy Sussex, WI Craig Tarr, President Energy Concepts Hudson, WI Todd Timmerman Timmerman’s Talents Platteville, WI Melissa Van Ornum DVO, Inc. Chilton, WI Michael Vickerman, Policy Director RENEW Wisconsin Madison, WI Larry Walker Walker Energy Systems Madison, WI Ray Walter, Ph.D, President MyEnergy, LLC Pewaukee, WI Michael Ward E & W Heating and Air Conditioning Middleton, WI David Washebek Lemberg Electric Company Brookfield, WI Robert Weier, Vice President ELEXCO, Inc. Seymour, WI Laura West West Winds Renewable Resources, LLC Plover, WI Tom Wilson HOME REMEDIES Residential Energy Services, Viroqua, WI Northern Thunder, Eau Claire, WI Dona Wininsky American Lung Association (Wisconsin) Milwaukee, WI Niels Wolter, Owner Madison Solar Consulting Madison, WI Mark Yeager Sun & Daughters Solar, LLC Rhinelander, WI Jim Yockey, CEO Seventh Generation Systems Integration Madison, WI John Young Resource Solar Madison, WI Michael Zander, CEO Biogas Direct Sauk City, WI Ed Zinthefer Arch Electric, LLC Plymouth, WI