September 15, 2009

Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin

In a show of bipartisan support, the State Senate approved legislation that will open the door to new wind energy projects in Wisconsin.

Under the Wind for Wisconsin umbrella, more than 60 organizations as diverse as unions, trade associations, environmental advocates, health groups, and renewable energy manufacturers sought uniform permitting standards for future wind developments.

Six Republicans joined 17 Democrats to pass Senate Bill 185. The legislation directs the Public Service Commission to begin a rulemaking process that will lead to greater certainty and predictability in siting wind generation facilities.

“The Senate’s vote is critical to reviving the development of a high priority renewable energy resource in accordance with Wisconsin energy policy,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a nonprofit sustainable energy advocacy organization.

“We believe that the wind energy suppliers will see the action as an invitation to locate and do business in Wisconsin. Our economy will benefit from the investment and jobs in a sustainable energy future,” Vickerman said.

“RENEW Wisconsin and its members thank the bill’s primary authors, Senator Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) and Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac), the leadership of both parties, and all of the state senators who recognized the need for a statewide approach to permitting windpower installations,” Vickerman added .

The Assembly will vote on the companion bill later this week. Then it will go to the governor.