ETTRICK, Wis. – A group of local investors has proposed a wind farm near Ettrick but will have to convince neighbors and Trempealeau County officials on the concept.
AgWind Energy Partners LLC says the four to six turbines would generate enough electricity to power about 3,200 homes.
The wind farm could grow to 10 to 15 turbines if neighbors choose to invest by leasing their land.
The group had a wind map study done and gathered information for a year before selecting the 160-acre property two miles northwest of Ettrick. It is owned by Galesville, Wis., residents and group members Ron and Mary Winn.
They now want a county permit to set up a tower that can measure wind speed, direction and frequency.
“Our objective is to create a project that the county, the city and all participants can benefit from, through community education and interaction,” said the group’s managing director, Jim Naleid of La Crosse.
The Trempealeau County Board, however, will vote Monday on a six-month moratorium on commercial wind farms to give the county zoning department time to develop a wind farm ordinance.
“We need to educate ourselves first,” said Zoning Director Kevin Lien. “There are just too many questions right now that we need to answer.”
Wind farms have drawn opposition in some areas because of their size and perceived noise.
Ron Reimer, who lives a half-mile south of the proposed site, referred to the turbines as “huge wind-powered electric dynamos” in calling for the temporary moratorium in a letter published this week in the Galesville newspaper.
Naleid said turbines would not go up any earlier than 2008.
Wind farm owners can sell electricity to power companies or independent operators. They also can receive federal tax credits for each kilowatt of electricity produced, provided Congress extends the credits past 2007.
Brian Voerding is a reporter for the Winona (Minn.) Daily News.