Republican state senator Glenn Grothman wants to halt the construction of new wind energy farms, by freezing the renewable energy requirements for Wisconsin utilities. Grothman, of West Bend, is going to bat for residents in the Sheboygan County town of Sherman, who are trying to stop a four-turbine wind farm from being built. The project is in Grothman’s district, and he’s encouraging town officials to delay the approval process as long as possible, in the hopes that lawmakers could reconsider limits on wind farms next year. Grothman said it was a mistake to force Wisconsin utilities to get 10-percent of their power from renewable sources by 2015. He says the utilities are mostly using wind turbines to meet the standard. And Grothman claims those wind farms have raised electric costs and lowered nearby property values – and they might be causing health problems for residents. Grothman says windmills are divisive, and he says his bill to freeze the renewable energy standard would put an end to the market for wind power in Wisconsin. An effort to further restrict the locating of wind turbines was killed in the most recent state Legislative session. Back then, industry officials said it would reduce jobs in Wisconsin, not only by stopping turbine construction, but by forcing Wisconsin firms that make wind power equipment to move elsewhere.
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