A week after Chicago-based Invenergy cancelled their plans for a massive wind farm in Brown County another firm has done the same. Chicago-based Midwest Wind Energy is pulling the plug on a Calumet County project.
“We are losing hundreds of jobs as these projects go down,” says Keith Reopelle, Senior Policy Director of Clean Wisconsin.
Reopelle says in addition to the construction and operational jobs involved with the farms, positions further down the supply chain such as manufacturing and logistics will be affected.
Both companies noted the regulatory climate in Wisconsin is too unstable. The Public Service Commission had established statewide rules for locating wind farms but the new legislature did not approve them. Governor Walker had also proposed a more restrictive wind bill although it was not approved by lawmakers.
Despite Reopelle’s criticisms of recent policies under the new administration and GOP leadership he is “hopeful” about Walker’s pick for Chairman of the PSC, Phil Montgomery. As a lawmaker Montgomery was the main author of the bill that required uniform wind siting rules to be drafted.
On Wednesday, a legislative committee told the Commission to come up with new statewide rules.