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Eau Claire Co. town passes wind farm moratorium

A renewable energy company is once again proposing new wind turbines in Eau Claire County. This time, the proposal is in the Town of Lincoln, but the town passed a six month moratorium on wind farm development Monday.

The moratorium is in response to a proposal by RWE Renewables Americas to create a windfarm in the town, just south of Highway 12. A couple dozen residents voiced their support of the moratorium at Monday’s meeting, some citing concerns about the negative impact turbines could have on the community.

“I personally used to live in Colorado. Windmills are very big out in Colorado, and I never met one person out there in the years that I lived there that had anything good to say about them,” said resident Mitch Bush.

This moratorium is similar to a one-year moratorium put in place by the Town of Clear Creek in 2019, when RWE proposed building between 40 and 70 wind turbines on approximately 20 thousand acres of land in the towns of Clear Creek and Pleasant Valley.

“[The moratorium] kind of just stops everything, gives everybody some breathing room to make some decisions,” said town supervisor Matt Krenz.

The moratorium gives the town board time to consider an ordinance that will set ground rules for wind developers hoping to set up turbines in the town.

The ordinance would be similar to those passed by other local communities, and is designed to protect the health and safety of residents and the local ecosystem. It would also include property value protections for residents within two miles of a proposed development.