- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Catching up: Wind turbine regulations still up in air

Officials with the Public Service Commission are still holding on to a set of wind siting rules that were supposed to go into effect almost nine months ago.

The rules were sent to PSC in March. Lawmakers hoped the agency could work out a compromise between the wind industry and its critics and have the new rules in place by now.

Kristin Ruesch, PSC spokeswoman, said the agency had little luck in bringing the two sides together. The issues separating them have not changed: setbacks, noise levels and the effects turbines have on neighboring property owners.

The PSC spent more than a year working out the original rules, with the help of Democrats and Republicans, the wind industry and its critics. Those rules were scheduled to go into effect in March. But after taking office in January, Republican Gov. Scott Walker introduced a bill to increase setbacks.

In the end, the legislative committee that reviews agency rules chose not to act on the governor’s bill and instead voted to send the original rules back to the PSC to see if an agreement could be ironed out.

If no changes are made by March, the original rules go into effect. However, two bills sit in Legislative committees designed to kill the original rules and force the state to start from scratch.