The state’s new rules on siting wind turbines take away from local control, but give certainty to the industry. The state Public Service Commission finalized wind siting rules this week. Not everyone is pleased. “The new rules are less strict than what our current setback are,” said Calumet County Administrator Jay Shambeau. “That will please some folks and anger others. The wind issue has been divisive in Calumet County and other locations.”
But Michael Vickerman, executive director of Renew Wisconsin, which advocated for the statewide standards, said the new rules will give the wind industry something the local rules don’t: certainty. “It just changed from place-to-place,” said Vickerman of the patchwork of local rules. “It left the industry with the sense that ‘we can’t really have any confidence in what sorts of terms and conditions we’ll be subject to’ because the rules keep changing.” Lawmakers in 2009 passed an act directing the PSC to formulate the statewide rules, which the legislature must now approve.
WHBY‘s Rick Schuh contributed to this report