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Clay Banks panel continues wind study  

The Clay Banks Windmill Planning Committee will continue its search for information despite plans by Door County to upgrade regulations for the energy systems.

The six-member town panel may follow the 21-page Shawano County ordinance, a document presented June 15 to the committee by Mike Johnson, Clay Banks Town Chairman and a member of the committee.

“I think it’s very clear and concise, and outlines the state ordinance in terms of how ineffective it is,” Johnson said.

Last month, the town board became concerned when Door County Supervisor Bob Ryan, said the county Resource Planning Committee planned to revise the county ordinance, bringing it into compliance with the state code.

The change, town officials said, could loosen some requirements, making it easier to site turbines on the Peninsula.

The county RPC plans to discuss a draft of the county revision at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Door County Government Center, 421 Nebraska St.

A proposal by Community Wind Energy LLC of Sturgeon Bay to build three 170-foot turbines in Clay Banks drew opposition from 194 residents, who signed a petition against the plan.

Members of the town wind committee agreed that the state rules and the 1999 Door County ordinance failed to address several health and safety issues connected with wind energy systems.

Johnson presented the town committee with a list of the issues it must address to establish a town ordinance, including setbacks, noise, turbine height, a process to deal with flickering shadows, blasting of bedrock during construction and requirements and costs for decommissioning sites.

CWE was unable to provide specifics on the proposed turbines, Johnson said.

The draft county ordinance should get a D grade because it does not address a number of issues, said John Fritschler, a committee member.

The draft fails to mention road damage, which is included in the state version, he said.

“It’s very inadequate compared to what I’ve seen in other counties, as far as insurance and reclaiming the site,” Fritschler said. “It follows fairly closely to the state model ordinance.”

Any turbine not used for one year can be decommissioned under state regulations, said Chris Jensen, another member of the committee.

The county ordinance is less restrictive than the state’s, setting the time limit at two years, excluding time spent on repairs and improvements, said Doug Weimer, a committee member.

According to the county ordinance, the setback for a wind turbine must be either twice the height of the turbine, or 1,000 feet, whichever is greater. Nations such as France require far greater setbacks for turbines, Weimer said.

The town committee will meet at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 30.

By Kurt Rentmeester
Advocate correspondent

Green Bay Press-Gazette

20 June 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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