Three wind turbine towers to be built along a two-mile setback east of Horicon Marsh comply with orders approving the 200-megawatt wind farm project, a Wisconsin Public Service Commission administrator concluded this week.
The turbine tower sites were challenged by Joe Breaden, of Mayville, a project opponent, as being built so close to the required setback that the turbine blades would extend into the setback.
The turbine towers are about 250 feet tall, but with the rotors attached, the overall structure reaches 389 feet high.
The PSC established the setback as a buffer between the marsh and the wind farm project.
Forward Energy Center, an Invenergy Corp project, didn’t dispute Breaden’s contention but argued that setback distances are measured from the base of the towers and not circumference of the rotor blade. The three towers were sited outside the two-mile setback, said Peter Gardon, attorney for Forward.
PSC spokesperson Amanda Wollin stated that none of the locations for the project’s 130 other towers are in question. The wind farm extends over 50,000 acres in Dodge and Fond du Lac counties.
The three towers Breaden questioned are located north of Highway 49. Two the towers already have concrete foundations poured and the access roads installed. Delivery of turbines to the project is scheduled to begin in late September and continue to early December. Sixty-six turbines are projected to be operational by February, according to Invenergy documents.
Breaden said Thursday that he wasn’t surprised at the decision by PSC administrator Robert Norcross.
“I still don’t think (the PSC) know(s) what’s going on. There are other turbine sites in contention, two that overlap the buffer for a private airstrip … I brought this to their attention, and there’s been no response,” Breaden said.
Mick Baird, project manager, said the tower locations were worked out with the PSC and landowners, and he isn’t aware of any other locations that would encroach on established setbacks.
By Kevin Murphy
For the Reporter
14 September 2007
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