The Senate Committee on Commerce, Energy, Utilities and Rail voted 6-1 on Senate Bill 185 Aug. 4. The wind turbine siting bill would replace the patchwork of local regulations with statewide standards for permitting wind farms.
The bill charges the Wisconsin Public Service Commission with studying and determining permitting standards for wind farms to replace the current disorganized system that discourages the growth of the wind energy industry with sensible statewide standards.
“Wind energy holds the potential to address many of the greatest problems facing our state – it can help our environment while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and creating jobs for Wisconsinites,” said Ryan Schryver, clean energy advocate for Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental advocacy organization.
The wind energy industry grew immensely in 2008, increasing its national workforce by 70 percent to over 85,000 workers.
The bill moves to the Assembly and Senate this fall.