Walker's Wind Siting Proposal Strips Local Control

Walker's proposal would require a setback distance between a turbine and neighboring property line of 1,800 feet, which can be shortened only by an agreement between the project owner and owners of adjoining properties, entirely bypassing towns and counties.

Mandating by statute an extreme setback distance for commercial wind turbines, Governor Scott Walker's wind siting proposal would strip local governments of their ability to negotiate lesser setback distances with wind developers, according to RENEW Wisconsin, a statewide renewable energy advocacy group.


Walker's proposal would require a setback distance between a turbine and neighboring property line of 1,800 feet, which can be shortened only by an agreement between the project owner and owners of adjoining properties, entirely bypassing towns and counties.

Walker's proposal would eliminate the ability of local governments to attract wind developments that would generate revenues in lieu of taxes to help buffer the expected cuts to local governments in the upcoming state budget.

A story in the Fond du Lac Reporter on January 12 quoted town and county officials as saying the wind project revenue helped save on property taxes by filling the gap between rising municipal expenses and declining state-paid shared revenue dollars.
"We've seen five towns in Fond du Lac and Dodge counties enter into joint development agreements specifying reasonable setback distances because town officials wanted to capture the economic benefits of hosting wind projects larger than 50 megawatts," Vickerman said.

The statewide siting rule, approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and set to take effect March 1, preserved local government authority to specify less restrictive conditions.

"This unreasonable proposal is a steamroller driven by anti-wind special interests, like realtors, bent on denying local governments the ability to decide what's in their best interests," said Vickerman.

RENEW Wisconsin is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that acts as a catalyst to advance a sustainable energy future through public policy and private sector initiatives. More information on RENEW's Web site at www.renewwisconsin.org.

Featured Product

WS510 Secondary Standard

WS510 Secondary Standard

In the monitoring of large photovoltaic (Utility Scale), in assessing potential sites (Solar-assessment), or in up and coming electricity cost saving initiatives projects (Commercial & Industrial), the WS510 now provides the market a secondary standard pyranometer, ultrasonic wind speed, ultrasonic wind direction, temperature, pressure and humidity all in a single unit.. This sensor meets the high demands of the world meteorological organization (WMO) through the active valving at air temperature measurement and the inertia- and maintenance-free measurement of wind speed and wind direction on the ultrasonic principle. Equipped with a Kipp & Zonen pyranometer of the secondary standards, the WS510-UMB Compact weather sensor from Lufft unites the precision of a variety of meteorological individual sensors in a single all-in-one device, for the first time.