From an article by Craig Reber in the Telegraph Herald, Dubuque:
Proponents of two proposed Grant County, Wis., wind farms wonder what’s next after Republican lawmakers suspended statewide wind farm siting rules Tuesday — the day they were set to take effect.
The Joint Committee for Review of Administration Rules voted 5-2, along party lines, to suspend the rules for 30 days.
The state Public Service Commission’s standards, which would have applied to projects less than 100 megawatts in generating capacity, would create uniform guidelines for where wind farms could be built. The committee’s vote means local regulations would remain in place.
The commission’s new rules would have allowed development of the proposed White Oak wind project by Wind Capital Group on parts of Smelser, Hazel Green and Paris townships, a project on hold for more than two years. Another wind project was planned for northern Grant County.
Ron Brisbois, director of Grant County Economic Development Corp., said Tuesday’s vote would “effectively deter wind farms throughout the state of Wisconsin.”
Republicans who took control of the Legislature in November said they were worried the Advertisement
rules would allow developers to build turbines too close to neighbors’ properties, driving down land values and increasing the risk of injury.
“I communicated with members of the committee, as well to our local representatives, (State) Senator (Dale) Schultz and (State Rep.) Travis Tranel,” Brisbois said. “My message to them was, if they do basically what (the committee) did, it will effectively kill my project. There is some hope moving forward is possible, but it’s highly unlikely.”
The committee must draft a bill supporting the suspension. It has drafted a measure that would require the commission to develop new rules within six months.
The vote disappointed John Beinborn, president of Grant County Economic Development Corp.