September 20, 2014

PSC stands by rejection of wind farm project

State utility regulators are still saying no to a proposed wind-energy farm in western Wisconsin.

The Public Service Commission on Friday rejected a request to reconsider its decision that denied a construction permit for the Highland Wind Farm in Saint Croix County. The panel voted two-to-one against an emergency request the developer filed this week.

The PSC first rejected the project in mid-February, citing concerns that noise from the wind turbines would exceed state-imposed limits and cause problems for the residents of several nearby homes. The company asked for the commission to reconsider the ruling, arguing that it could program the turbines to reduce their power during periods where wind speeds would cause them to exceed noise limits.

One commissioner said they could support the project under those conditions, but another said such appeals usually need to wait until the PSC has issued a written confirmation of a decision, which has not yet happened.