September 6, 2012

Sheboygan County wind farm proposal expected to be filed ‘relatively soon’

Written by Josh Lintereur | 5 September 2012

A more detailed proposal to build a wind farm in the Town of Sherman will be submitted to town officials in the near future, the project’s Hubertus-based developer said Wednesday.

EEW Services LLC notified the town in June of its intent to submit a formal application to begin construction next year on the Windy Acres Wind Farm, though few details have been released since then as the proposal is still being finalized.

EEW spokesman Jay Mundinger said the developers are required to wait at least 90 days from their June notice before submitting a formal application, and he expects plans to be filed “relatively soon.”

“We know our application will be scrutinized, as well as it should be, so we want to make sure it’s complete,” Mundinger said.

Mundinger said EEW also plans to hold an open house for residents in the near future that will help answer questions on the project.

The wind farm would be built on 400 acres east of state Highway 57, west of county Highway CC and north of county Highway A. It would consist of four wind turbines that together could generate up to 12 megawatts of electricity, or enough for about 4,000 average residential homes. The turbines would connect to a substation in the Town of Holland.

The project site is in WE Energies’ service territory, though the utility is not involved in the project at this point.

Representatives from EEW Services appeared at a Town Board meeting Tuesday night and met with members of the public afterward. Supervisors also approved a resolution to conduct a joint review of the developer’s application in conjunction with the Town of Holland.

The state’s rules place wind farm siting decisions almost entirely in the hands of the state Public Service Commission, as state wind siting rules supersede local ordinances. However, the project still requires approval by the Sherman Town Board. The town is in the process of drafting its own local wind ordinance, though it cannot be more restrictive that the state’s rules.

There are about 500 property owners within one mile of the proposed site, and so far about 100 families have become directly engaged in a local opposition group, Sheboygan County Communities for Responsible Energy, which was formed shortly after the proposal went public, according to Edward Buck, who lives in the township and is a member of the group.

About 50 people attended Tuesday’s meeting, with 15 or so offering public comment on the project, mostly in opposition, according to Town Chairman William Goehring.

Mundinger said the feedback they’re getting from people living within the town has been fairly positive.

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