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Friday, July 26, 2013

Speak Up for Clean Energy on the Highland Wind Farm

If you support wind energy development in Wisconsin, and if you believe a responsibly designed project should not be shouted down by antiwind pressure groups, please communicate your position to the Public Service Commission, which will decide the fate of the Highland Wind project later this year. The Commission will accept online comments through August 12th.


Speak Up for Clean Energy on the Highland Wind Farm 
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The Highland Wind Farm is a clean energy project proposed for the Town of Forest (St. Croix County).  The proposed farm will have 41 turbines and generate 102.5 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 25,000 homes.  The process of getting the Highland Wind Farm permitted has been an ongoing battle riddled with propaganda and misinformation about wind.  Recently we were pleased to learn that the Public Service Commission (PSC) agreed to reopen the case and reconsider permitting the wind farm.  Although a public hearing has been scheduled for August 14, at 610 North Whitney Way, Madison, in the Amnicon Falls Room (First Floor) the PSC has informed us that they will hear testimony from the general public on August 15.  You may also submit online comments until August 13.  Unfortunately, opponents are already commenting, and they will be out in full force at the public hearing.  Don't let a vocal minority shut the door on clean energy in Wisconsin!  Send in your comments today, and make plans to attend the public hearing. 
You can submit a comment following these steps:1.    Click here for the PSC website and fill out your information2.    Write your comment.  Feel free to use our talking points below to help form your comment, but also be sure to tell your personal story and reason for wanting more clean, wind energy in Wisconsin.3.    Click 'File Comments'
Talking Points:
  • Wisconsin is falling behind in the clean energy transition.  All of our neighboring states have installed more wind than Wisconsin.  Meanwhile in our state, at least 3 wind projects have been canceled in the past few years after the legislature temporarily suspended Wisconsin's uniform wind-siting rules, causing the loss of hundreds of megawatts of clean energy and over 1,000 potential jobs.
  • The Highland Wind Farm will create over 100 jobs during construction and up to 8 permanent jobs.  Over the next 30 years, it would provide $4.8 million in revenue to Forest Township, and over $6.8 million to St. Croix County.
  • The most significant commercial activity in the Town of Forest is farming.  The 25 host landowners would benefit from lease payments offered by the Highland Wind Farm, and this income is critical for anchoring the many family farms in this area.
  • The Highland Wind Farm will follow Wisconsin's Wind Siting Law, PSC 128, a policy created by a range of stakeholders over a several years designed to create business certainty and overcome the patchwork of local regulations that has threatened clean energy development in Wisconsin. 
  • The Public Service Commission needs to make decisions based on the law and what is good for the health of Wisconsin.  The Highland Wind Farm is both.
  • Wisconsin wants and needs wind and we shouldn't let a vocal minority block clean energy opportunities.
Shahla M. Werner, Ph.D., Chapter DirectorSierra Club- John Muir Chapter222 South Hamilton Street, Suite 11Madison, WI 53703-3201shahla.werner@sierraclub.orgPhone: (608) 256-0565Fax: (608) 256-4JMChttp://wisconsin.sierraclub.org/

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