The future of wind energy in Trempealeau County could be decided Monday.
The county board of supervisors is scheduled to vote Monday night on a wind ordinance that renewable energy developers say is unnecessarily restrictive and will doom wind energy development in the county.
What’s a wind ordinance? A wind ordinance regulates the placement, noise level and safety of personal and commercial wind development.
is it necessary? A group of local investors called AgWind Energy Partners approached the county last September with a request to build four to six turbines near Ettrick, Wis., and a meteorological tower to measure wind frequency, speed and direction.
The county wanted more time to research and write an ordinance, so the board imposed a six-month moratorium on the permit; the moratorium ends June 24.
What’s so controversial? About 40 county residents have voiced concern about the flickering shadows created by the turbine’s rotating blades, the aesthetic change to the environment and the noise.
The proposed ordinance is more restrictive than the state’s model ordinance, limiting the places that turbines can be placed.
AgWind director Jim Naleid hopes the board will not pass the ordinance as-is because he said it prohibits personal wind generation as well as commercial, which could mean the county missing out on $400,000 annually in profits.
Why should I care? The ordinance will guide wind turbines built (or not built) in Trempealeau County.
Electric utilities are increasingly required to look to clean energy sources such as wind, but limitations on turbine placement could prevent landowners and developers in Trempealeau County from cashing in on wind energy.
When and where: 7 p.m. Monday at Trempealeau County Courthouse, 36245 Main St., Whitehall, Wis.
By Amber Dulek
17 June 2007
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