Wisconsin Wind Siting
Ordinances for wind siting are not necessary. There's no reason why a local government can't draft a conditional use permit or a Joint Development Agreement to regulate a wind project. The table below clearly shows that very few projects in Wisconsin have been permitted under wind ordinances.
Wisconsin Wind Project Permitting Matrix (by county and municipality) December 5, 2011
|Township or village||County||No. of Turbines||Rated capacity (MW)||Project name||Local ordinance?||Conditional use permit?||JDA?1||CPCN?2|
|Byron||Fond du Lac||22||31.3||Forward, Byron||No||Yes||No||No|
|Calumet||Fond du Lac||44||72.6||Blue Sky Green Field||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Eden||Fond du Lac||23||37.9||Cedar Ridge||No||No||Yes||No|
|Empire||Fond du Lac||18||29.7||Cedar Ridge||No||No||Yes||No|
|Marshfield||Fond du Lac||44||72.6||Blue Sky Green Field||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Oakfield||Fond du Lac||17||25.5||Forward||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Portland||Monroe||1||2.5||Cashton Greens||No||Yes (roads only)||No||No|
March 30 - Legislature asks PSC to create new set of guidelines
Wind Siting Rule, PSC 128: The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) voted to introduce a bill (s.227.26 (2) (f) ) to support its suspension of the wind siting rule (the March 1 JCRAR vote suspended the rule temporarily).
Tthis bill suspends PSC 128 and refers the matter back to the Public Service Commission, with a new rule coming back to the legislature within 6 months of the bill's passage.
As a result of the administrative reforms adopted by the Legislature earlier this year, any replacement rule to PSC 128 cannot take effect without Governor Walker's approval.
March 9, 2011 Update - Wind Siting Rule, PSC 128:
The Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) voted 6-2 on March 1st to suspend the wind siting rule. The committee simultaneously considered a bill which would refer the matter back to the Public Service Commission, with a new rule coming back to the legislature within 6 months of the bill's passage. Attached is the bill draft as introduced at the hearing. There are no major changes to the draft at this point. The bill must be introduced within 30 days of the JCRAR vote to suspend (April 8). As a reminder, Commissioner Meyer's six year term is expiring and Governor Walker will soon announce his appointment of the new Commission chair.
On December 9, 2010, revised rules were forwarded to the legislative committees with jurisdiction. The committees had 10 working days to take action. No action was taken, and as a result, by law the rules should have taken affect on the 1st day of the following month.
However, provisions that alter setbacks and other aspects of the rules developed in the PSC process have been separated into a bill (Special Session Assembly Bill 9). No hearings have yet been scheduled on this bill.
THIRD STEP - LEGISLATIVE STEP
After the Wisconsin PSCW sent final wind siting rules to the standing Wisconsin legislative energy committees, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Utilities, Energy and Rail held a public hearing on the draft rules on October 13, 2010.
As a follow-up, on October 20, the committee voted to send the rules back to the PSCW, requesting unspecified modifications due to what was described as inconsistencies with what the legislature intended in 2009 Wisconsin ACT 40.
- (letter to PSCW from Committee Chair Sen. Jeff Phale,
- reply from PSCW,
- letter from committee member Sen. Jon Erpenbach,
- PSCW response to Sen. Erpenbach letter).
On the Assembly side, the Committee on Energy and Utilities cancelled its scheduled public hearing and took no further action. Review legislative process on rulemaking...
THIRD STEP - . . . . . . . . . PSCW Response & Revisions
Memorandum dated December 1, 2010 for PSCW Agenda on revisions to Wind Siting Rules.
The Commission modified the Wind Siting Rules and directed Commission staff to prepare documents consistent with its discussion for submission to the Legislature. If the legislative review period expires without further comment, or the Legislature approves the rules without change, the rules may be promulgated as final rules without further Commission action.
At its December 9, open meeting, the PSCW approved limited revisions (listen to recording of wind siting discussion and unanimous vote to approve revisions, MP3 format 9.6 MB) in three basic areas of the draft rules outlined in the December 1 Memo above, related to:
(1) technical, nonsubtantive
(2) specific agricultural interests cited by DATCP
(WI Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection)
(3) two key landowner mitigation provisions
- The presiding officer of each house has ten days to send the rules to the appropriate committees for review.
- The standing energy committees will then have thirty days to review the rule.
- The committees may request a hearing on the rule or request changes and send it back to the PSC.
- The committees may send the rule back to the PSC multiple times, which will extend the initial 30 day window.
- The committees may also choose to not take action in the initial 30 days, at which time the rule goes into effect.
Wind Siting Council
2009 Wisconsin Act 40 (Act 40) requires the PSC to promulgate a variety of rules that specify the conditions a city, village, town, or county (political subdivision) may impose on the installation or use of a wind energy system. If a political subdivision chooses to regulate such systems, its ordinances may not be more restrictive than the PSC’s rules. The PSC will also consider the restrictions specified in these rules when determining whether to grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity for a wind energy system over 100 megawatts.
Wisconsin’s Wind Siting Council is an advisory body created by 2009 Wisconsin Act 40 (Act 40). Act 40 directs the PSC to develop administrative rules that specify the restrictions that may be imposed on the installation or use of wind energy systems. The new law also required the PSC to appoint a Wind Siting Council that will advise the PSC as it develops uniform wind siting standards for Wisconsin.
The following people were appointed to serve on Wisconsin’s Wind Siting Council:
Dan Ebert, WPPI Energy
David Gilles, Godfrey & Kahn
Tom Green, Wind Capital Group
Jennifer Heinzen, Lakeshore Technical College
Andy Hesselbach, We Energies
George Krause Jr., Choice Residential LLC
Lloyd Lueschow, Green County
Jevon McFadden, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine & Public Health
Tom Meyer, Restaino & Associates
Bill Rakocy, Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, LLC
Dwight Sattler, Landowner
Ryan Schryver, Clean Wisconsin
Michael Vickerman, RENEW Wisconsin
Larry Wunsch, Landowner
Doug Zweizig, Union Township
The Wind Siting Council Final Report.The final recommendation (pages 37-42) are supported by 11 of the 15 Council members. Four Council members submitted a minority report (pages 45-61).
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Press Release Announcing Wind Siting Council Recommendations
The important documents that the Council considered were:
McFadden - Wind Turbines: A Brief Health Overview
Cowen - Wind Turbine Generator Noise Issues (PSC REF#:132583)
Hesselbach - Setback and Siting Analysis, a Case Study: Glacier Hills Wind Park (PSC REF#:132584)
Kielisch - Wind Turbines and Property Value (PSC REF#:133062)
Read the origonal PROPOSED RULE CHAPTER PSC 128 (May 14, 2010) WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
Subchapter I General
Subchapter II Developer Requirements
Subchapter III Political Subdivision Procedure
Subchapter IV Commission Procedure
Wind Siting Rulemaking
Comments on the proposed rules were accepted until July 7, 2010. The comments are considered when PSC staff is drafting the rules.
The PSC held hearings to take testimony from the public regarding the proposed rules in the Amnicon Falls Hearing Room at the Public Service Commission Building, 610 North Whitney Way, Madison, Wisconsin, on June 30, 2010. Act 40 required that hearings regarding these rules also be held in Monroe County and a county other than Dane or Monroe, where developers have proposed wind energy systems. The PSC also held public hearings on these proposed rules at City Hall, Legislative Chambers, 160 West Macy Street in Fond du Lac on June 28, 2010, and Holiday Inn, 1017 East McCoy Boulevard in Tomah on June 29, 2010.
More information on the Wind Siting Council and the wind siting rulemaking pursuant to Act 40 can be found by visiting the Commission’s website and clicking on the Electronic Regulatory Filing System (ERF) at http://psc.wi.gov Type case numbers 1-AC-231 in the boxes provided on the ERF system.
I. General requirement for rules
Under Wis. Stat. § 196.378(4g)(b), the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (Commission) shall, with the advice of the Wind Siting Council promulgate rules that specify the restrictions that a political subdivision (a city, village, town or county) may impose on the installation or use
of a wind energy system consistent with the conditions specified in Wis. Stat. § 66.0401(1m) (a) to (c).
Wisconsin Stat. § 66.0401(1m) reads:
66.0401(1m) Authority to restrict systems limited. No political subdivision may place any restriction, either directly or in effect, on the installation or use of a wind energy system that is more restrictive than the rules promulgated by the commission under s. 196.378 (4g) (b). No political subdivision may place any restriction, either directly or in effect, on the installation or use of a solar energy system, as defined in s. 13.48 (2) (h) 1. g., or a wind energy system, unless the restriction satisfies one of the following conditions:
(a) Serves to preserve or protect the public health or safety.
(b) Does not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease its efficiency.
(c) Allows for an alternative system of comparable cost and efficiency.
II. Specific provisions that shall be included in the rules
The subject matter of the rules promulgated by the Commission shall include all of the following:
Setback requirements that provide reasonable protection from any health effects, including health effects from noise and shadow flicker, associated with wind energy systems. Wis. Stat. § 196.378(4g)(b)
Decommissioning, which means removing wind turbines, building, cables, electrical components, roads, and any other facilities associated with the wind energy system and restoring the site of the wind energy system. Wis. Stat. §§ 196.378(a)2., 196.378(4g)(b)
Specify the information and documentation to be provided in an application to demonstrate that a proposed wind energy system complies with the rules. Wis. Stat. § 196.378(4g)(c)1.
Specify the information and documentation to be included in a political subdivision’s record of decision under Wis. Stat. § 66.0401(4)(b). Wis. Stat. § 196.378(4g)(c)2.
Specify the procedure a political subdivision shall follow in reviewing an application for approval under Wis. Stat. § 66.0401(4). Wis. Stat. § 196.378(4g)(c)3.
Specify the requirements and procedures for a political subdivision to enforce the restrictions allowed under the Commission’s rules. Wis. Stat. § 196.378(4g)(c)4.
Require the owner of a wind energy system with a nominal operating capacity of at least one megawatt to maintain proof of financial responsibility ensuring the availability of funds for decommissioning upon discontinuance of use of the wind energy system.
Wis. Stat. § 196.378(4g)(d)