A St. Louis-based developer is looking to locate a wind farm in Grant County.
Wind Capital Group, LLC, has targeted Smelser Township, west of Cuba City, as the location for the project.
Dean Baumgardner, senior vice president of development and operations for Wind Capital Group, said the project boundary has been identified and the company is in the planning stage, which includes mapping and wind studies along with an environmental impact assessment.
Wind Capital Group is offering $500 to landowners who sign a two-year agreement to cooperate with the development activities of the wind farm. The landowner would be compensated an additional $250 if Wind Capital Group extends the term of the agreement for 12 months.
The size of the wind farm will be determined based on the capacity of the available transmission, the topography in the area and negotiations with the power purchaser. Wind Power Group does expect capacity will exceed 20 megawatts.
A publicized town hall meeting to discuss the project was held Thursday, and WPVL/WGLR News in Platteville was informed of the meeting by township residents. However, WPVL/WGLR News was asked to leave by Kim Egan, whose business card stated he is an employee of TDS Telecommunication Corp., of Madison. Egan was later identified as an interested landowner who recruited Wind Capital Group to consider the area.
Egan said the meeting was for township residents only, even though all three members of the Smelser Town Board were in attendance. Because of that, the meeting should have been a posted public meeting of the board and open to the public.
The Tri-County Press in Cuba City also was initially told not to report on the proposal by Egan because the project was in its early stage and publicity could jeopardize it.
By Bob Mittendorf
1 August 2007
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