The state Senate is expected to vote today on legislation that would make it easier for new wind farms to be built in Wisconsin.
The legislation would allow the Public Service Commission to set statewide standards for where wind farms can be built and how they are regulated. State Senator Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) says the bill is in response to concerns from developers about local governments putting a stop to proposed developments by passing restrictive ordinances.
Plale says one village, one town, or one city shouldn’t have veto power over statewide energy policy.
Critics worry the bill will allow the PSC to quickly push through wind energy projects, without determining how they’ll impact those living around them. Plale says they’ve worked to address those concerns by allowing for a citizens panel to also sound off on proposed projects.
Also, Plale says the bill is not the final say in what statewide wind farm standards will be. He says any proposed rules from the PSC will still have to come before the Legislature for final approval.