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Recently introduced legislation

SB 98, Changing Setback Limits and other Regulations Applicable to Wind Energy Systems. This bill imposes additional requirements on the PSC’s rules governing local regulation of wind turbines. The bill requires the restrictions under the rules to provide reasonable protection from any health effects associated with wind energy systems, including health effects from noise and shadow flicker.

The bill eliminates the requirement for the PSC to promulgate rules regarding setback requirements, and requires instead that the owners of certain wind energy systems comply with distance requirements specified in the bill. The bill’s requirements apply to the owner of a “large wind energy system,” which the bill defines as a wind energy system that has a total installed nameplate capacity of more than 300 kilowatts and that consists of individual wind turbines that have an installed nameplate capacity of more than 100 kilowatts. Under the bill, the owner of a large wind energy system must design and construct the system so that the straight line distance from the vertical center line of any wind turbine tower of the system to the nearest point on the property line of the property on which the wind turbine tower is located is at least one-half mile. The bill allows a lesser distance if there is a written agreement between the owner of the large wind energy system and the owners of all property within one-half mile of the property on which the system is located.

The bill also requires that the straight line distance from the vertical center line of any wind turbine tower of the system to the nearest point on the permanent foundation of any building must be at least 1.1 times the maximum blade tip height of the wind turbine tower, unless the owners of the system and the building agree in writing to a lesser distance. In addition, the bill requires that the straight line distance from the vertical center line of any wind turbine tower of the system to the nearest point on any public road right-of-way or overhead communication or electric transmission or distribution line must be at least 1.1 times the maximum blade tip height of the wind turbine tower. By Sen. Lasee (R-De Pere) Comment on this bill.