January 11, 2010

Michael Vickerman
RENEW Wisconsin

RENEW Wisconsin hailed today the Public Service Commission’s approval of what will become the state’s largest wind farm to be built in Columbia County.

Known as Glacier Hills, the proposed 90-turbine project will produce approximately 400 million kilowatt hours of clean renewable electricity annually, while directing $648,000 a year in local aid payments to Columbia County and the townships of Randolph and Scott.

“This project is certain to deliver a shot in the arm to wind-energy equipment suppliers, skilled laborers, and construction contractors throughout the state, not to mention area landowners and local governments,” said Michael Vickerman, executive director of RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide membership organization that advocates for renewable energy.

If We Energies’ experience with its previous wind project is any guide, this project will account for more than 400,000 labor hours during construction, according to Vickerman.

The state’s 10% renewable energy standard is the main policy driver behind this project, he said.

Vickerman said: “To be certain that Glacier Hills will not be the last large wind project constructed in Wisconsin, the Legislature must raise the current renewable-energy standard on utilities. The provisions in the recently introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act, which we strongly support, would lift that requirement to 25% by 2025.”

“The state can lock in additional jobs and revenue streams to localities by passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act this winter,” Vickerman said.