Developer says rules would stop Calumet wind turbines; Panel considered safety issues, suggested rules
CHILTON – A special committee’s recommendations for governing wind energy will make it impossible to farm wind in Calumet County, a developer said Tuesday.
County Board Chairman Merlin Gentz appointed the committee to advise him after months of controversy over 400-foot wind turbines two developers want to erect in the towns of Chilton, Stockbridge and Brothertown. Among its recommendations are: prohibiting “flicker” from the turbines on roads with daily traffic counts of 500 or more; requiring 1,800 feet between turbines and homes, schools, parks and businesses; and limiting noise.
Any one of those restrictions would jeopardize the project EcoEnergy LLC plans, Wisconsin Projects Director Curt Bjurlin said.
“Together,” he said, “they would make wind energy in Calumet County impossible.”
Gentz formed the committee after the county imposed a 120-day moratorium on turbine permits in September. He attempted to appoint an equal mix of wind proponents and skeptics to the group, which met 10 times.
Its charge was to study turbines’ effects on health and safety, the only reasons local governments can restrict wind farm development, and propose amendments to the wind ordinance the county adopted in 2006.
“If there’s a more knowledgeable group in terms of wind energy, I’d like to see it,” Gentz said.
He intends to put the recommendations in resolution form and take them to the County Board next month.
“We’ll probably have a rather long meeting in January,” he said.
By Susan Squires
Post-Crescent staff writer
19 December 2007
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