[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind power – Energy solution or legal trouble?  

Credit:  By: Editorial staff, Hudson Star-Observer, www.hudsonstarobserver.com 30 March 2011 ~~

A legal battle in northeastern St. Croix County highlights the difficult issues of wind-generated power. Talk to anyone and they will, in general terms, talk about wind power as a good, efficient and cheap energy source for the times – be it today or tomorrow.

Try finding a location to construct wind generators and suddenly you’ve got yourself a first-class controversy, complete with arguments among neighbors, recalls and lawsuits.

Such is the case in St. Croix County in the town of Forest.

The controversial energy project in Forest has come under fire and may be stopped by a federal lawsuit which was filed by a citizens’ group in February. That suit was also supported by action of a new town board that was elected through a successful recall election. The former board had approved the proposed wind energy project last summer.

A citizens’ lawsuit was filed in February. In March, the new town of Forest board voted to rescind a wind energy development agreement and other approvals that had been granted to a wind developer. The project, being proposed by a private developer named Emerging Energies, is in jeopardy.

The project in Forest called for 39 wind towers. Each tower stands about 500 feet tall.

Many landowners in the town had signed leases with the wind firm, but were prohibited from discussing the project. When the rest of the town’s residents got “wind” of the deals, the uprising began.

Now there are battles over setbacks, noise, quality of life, health, property value, safety and more. Emerging Energies, LLC, has also threat-ened the new town board with legal action.

A similar scenario developed in the eastern part of the state when a Chicago wind energy developer, Invenergy LLC, dropped its plan to build a large wind farm near Green Bay.

Opponents in the Green Bay area are expressing the same concerns and claim they will continue to work to prevent the “irresponsible development of industrial wind projects.”

State energy regulators are now trying to come up with a plan to help support wind projects. Regulators may be asked to go back to the drawing board to develop statewide rules governing wind power projects, under a bill to be considered this week.

The Legislature’s joint committee for review of administrative rules voted earlier this month to temporarily block a wind farm site rule developed by the state Public Service Commission.

Supporters of wind energy development say legal problems will stall development, leading to a loss of jobs tied to wind turbine construction as well as revenue for host property owners and local governments. There seems to be plenty of controversy over, among other things, setbacks for wind towers.

A property rights bill introduced by Gov. Scott Walker in January would restrict wind towers from being placed less than 1,800 feet from a property line. That bill had the apparent support of wind farm opponents and the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

In its most recent wind farm decision, the PSC ruled that 1,250-foot setbacks be required for We Energies’ Glacier Hills Wind Park, now under construction in Columbia County.

The bottom line is, when wind towers begin popping up in either populated areas, or rural countryside, there is likely to be plenty of opposition. A group of wind towers doesn’t do much for the scenic value of any topography.

Despite all the virtues of wind power, developing a power source to a degree where it would have a significant impact could be difficult when facing “not in my backyard” neighborhoods.

Source:  By: Editorial staff, Hudson Star-Observer, www.hudsonstarobserver.com 30 March 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.