A controversial Green County wind farm – one of only a handful under development in Wisconsin – has been scrapped.
EDF Renewables had planned to build 24 turbines in the town of Jefferson near the Illinois border. It would have been the sixth-largest in the state, with a capacity of 65 megawatts.
Participating landowners received letters in September notifying them that the developer, EDF Renewables, was terminating its lease agreements.
Sandi Briner, vice president of corporate communications for the developer, confirmed in an email that the project had been canceled, but did not say why.
“Unfortunately, the nature of development doesn’t always cooperate, and the project is no longer viable,” Briner said. “Therefore, we felt it was best to release the lease and agreements associated with this wind project in order to facilitate pursuit of future opportunities to continue development of their land.”
Green County board chairman Arthur Carter, whose property abuts a parcel that was slated to host a turbine, said he received a personal letter from EDF, though the county had not received any official notice.
“It’s basically done,” Carter said. “That’s I think all anybody got.”
The project was expected to generate about $250,000 a year in tax revenue for the town and county in addition to some $300,000 a year in rent for participating landowners.
It also generated opposition from some residents who feared it would affect property values, health and views.
In June, the Public Service Commission denied a request to stop the project.
A group of 56 people who live or own property within the 5,870-acre project area but did not have leases with the developer appealed the county’s approval, arguing that the county continued to gather information even after declaring the application complete and holding a public hearing.
An attorney who represented the group before the PSC said Friday he had not heard anything about the project’s cancellation.
The project is one of just a handful of wind farms under development in Wisconsin, which has only a fifth the wind energy capacity of Minnesota and has had only one utility-scale wind farm built since 2011.
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