March 28, 2022

Company assessing possibility of wind turbines

Here's the company that's exploring bringing wind turbines to Sheboygan County | Proposal filed in Sheboygan County part of assessment for project viability | Maya Hilty | Sheboygan Press

SHEBOYGAN – In December, a developer filed a preliminary proposal to build wind turbines in Sheboygan County.

The filing sparked interest and concerns from many residents.

The developer, BluEarth Renewables, Inc., said earlier this month the filing was part of “very, very early stages” of work to assess the viability of wind turbines in the area, and BluEarth has not decided whether it will propose a project in Sheboygan County.

“We do not have a project plan in Sheboygan County right now,” the company’s vice president of development, Matt Schwann, told the Sheboygan Press. “We are doing some very preliminary work to assess the area and better understand it to decide if we would want to move forward with a project.”

Here’s where BluEarth is at in the process and more about the company.

BluEarth intends to reach out to landowners in the coming months

BluEarth is assessing areas of potential interest for a wind project, including Sheboygan County, Schwann said.

“We’ll look at things such as wind speeds, environmental and regulatory constraints, and of course, we’d need landowners to host a potential project in the event that we want to move forward,” Schwann said.

As of mid-March, the company had not yet reached out to landowners in Sheboygan County butintends to do so in the coming months, Schwann said.

BluEarth’s proposal filed with the Federal Aviation Administration in December was part of the company’s early-stage work. The company used randomized wind turbine locations and generic wind turbines in the proposal because the number and size of wind turbines the company would propose has not been decided, Schwann said.

The FAA determines whether structures like wind turbines will obstruct aircraft at their proposed height and location.

BluEarth’s filing proposed 673-foot tall turbines in 16 locations throughout southern Sheboygan County, as well as seven locations around Lincoln (in Kewaunee and Door County) and 10 locations around the bor der of Rock and Walworth County.

The 16 Sheboygan County wind turbines would generate 99 megawatts, and the project “may be expanded” up to 150 megawatts, or up to 24 wind turbines, “if sufficient transmission capacity becomes available,” according to the project description in the FAA filing.

Although the FAA filing listed a proposed construction date in 2024, Schwann said that “it’s far too early” to give a timeline for the company’s proposal. “It’s very early stage – I’m not sure if it’s an area that we will pursue,” he said.

BluEarth develops and operates wind, hydroelectric and solar facilities

BluEarth Renewables, founded in 2010, is a Canadian-based renewable energy company that acquires, develops, constructs and operates wind, hydroelectric and solar facilities in the United States and Canada.

The company owns and operates all of its projects, Schwann said.

According to the company website, BluEarth has 418 MW of renewable energy capacity in operation and under construction and more than 2,000 MW in development.

BluEarth has one project in operation in Wisconsin, solar facilities in eastern Wisconsin constructed in 2019.

The company’s website lists five wind projects in operation or development across the U.S., including one operating wind facility in Minnesota, two projects in advanced development in Missouri and Wyoming, and two projects in early-stage development in New Mexico and Arizona.

BluEarth would work with local stakeholders if they moved forward on a project in Sheboygan County, Schwann said.

“As a company, we certainly pride ourselves in the relationships that we have with our stakeholders, including local authorities and, of course, the community and landowners that host our project,” he said. “It’s based on trust, which is built overtime, so in any project that we do going forward, that’s a very key piece of our company.”

URL to article: