Hundreds of people with strong opinions on wind power packed into a hearing room Wednesday at the state Capitol. Legislators are wrestling with the question of how far wind turbines should be located from neighboring property.
The Public Service Commission has issued rules that take effect March first. They require a 1250 foot setback. The governor wants to add 550 feet, to lessen the impact of the noise and view.
Tom Larson, a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Realtors Association, agrees 1250 feet is too short for a couple reasons.
“One is that rules impact property owners. And the second is that the rules could have a negative impact on commercial, residential and industrial development,” Larson testified.
Representatives of wind-energy companies, including Julie Voeck says the PSC rules should be enacted because all stakeholders were involved in years of planning.
“The end result is a statewide wind siting standard that addresses the concerns of landowners while also supporting continued economic development in Wisconsin,” Voeck said.
Voeck added that more lengthy setbacks would, in effect, ruin the wind energy industry in Wisconsin and the jobs it creates.
Legislators listened to testimony and did not vote.
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