Invenergy cites regulatory uncertainty.
BROWN COUNTY – The plug has been pulled on plans for a wind farm in Southern Brown County.
Chicago-based Invenergy pulled out of the project that would have built 100 turbines in Morrison, Holland, Glenmore and the town of Wrightstown.
The wind farms have been hotly debated in the area.
Neighbors in Southern Brown County have not seen eye to eye about wind farms in the area. Now that the wind turbines aren’t coming, there’s a mix of emotions.
“It’s a lot of jobs lost for the area, a lot of revenue,” said David Beining, the town of Wrightstown.
“It’s a big relief that we can live in peace with no noise, no health issues. Very happy,” said Julie Ambrose, Morrison.
Invenergy announced Monday it is pulling out of the wind farm project because of a lack of uniform regulations across the state. Since the wind farm would be in several different municipalities, there were different sets of rules for each site. The company released a statement in part saying:
“With the recent suspension of PSC Rule 128 contributing to the state’s regulatory uncertainty, we’ve had to reevaluate our planned investments in Wisconsin.”
“We’re extremely disappointed, not in Invenergy… but Governor Walker and the (Republican) legislative leaders,” said Clean Wisconsin Policy Director Keith Reopelle.
Reopelle says Walker’s administration suspended PSC 128, which would have given uniform rules on wind turbines. And he says Brown County is losing out on a great opportunity.
“The thing people should be concerned about is losing a whole bunch of construction jobs at a time when we’re trying to build up the economy,” said Reopelle.
But the governor’s office told FOX 11:
“Businesses make decisions based on a whole host of variables, including but not limited to the overall economic climate. The Governor believes wind energy policy needs to be balanced with the private property rights of all Wisconsin citizens.”
Invenergy says it will continue to develop other wind projects in the state…but is also looking outside Wisconsin for places with “more regulatory certainty.”
Clean Wisconsin says it worries this is the first of many wind turbine projects that will leave the state and take jobs with it.
Governor Walker says he is committed to ensuring 250,000 jobs are created by the end of his first term.
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