Wisconsin Passes Wind Siting Legislation

The Wisconsin Legislature passed a measure that provides for the creation of state-wide wind siting rules Sept. 16.

Until now, individual counties and municipalities passed their own ordinances, making it difficult for wind development companies to plan in Wisconsin.

Supporters of the bill say that system discouraged the construction of small- and medium-sized wind farms, placing the state at a disadvantage in the clean energy economy as businesses choose to take their projects to neighboring states. The bill charges the state Public Service Commission with setting statewide standards, but doesn’t dictate what those standards should be. It was introduced by Rep. Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay) and Sen. Jeff Plale (D-Milwaukee) and co-authored by Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Rep. Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay).

The bill awaits the signature of Governor Jim Doyle. Local Representatives Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) and State Sen. Alan Lasee (R-De Pere) voted against the bill.