Note from the BPWI Research Nerd: The Town of Holland has joined several other Wisconsin Towns in adopting a half mile setback and a year long wind tower construction moratorium, in spite of the recent passage of a legislative bill that strips local governments of this power.
The Town of Spring Valley also recently joined four other Towns in Rock County by adopting the same half-mile setback and year long moratorium.
Holland Town Board moves to block Invenergy wind farm
February 2, 2010
By Scott Williams
In an emerging battle over a major wind farm development in southern Brown County, officials in the town of Holland have approved a one-year moratorium on wind farm construction.
But whether the action taken Monday night will derail plans by Chicago-based Invenergy LLC remains to be seen.
In October, Invenergy submitted an application to the state Public Service Commission for permission to develop the Ledge Wind Energy Project in southern Brown County. The plan calls for 54 wind turbines in Morrison, 22 in Holland, 20 in Wrightstown and four in Glenmore. The state has not acted on the application yet.
An organized opposition group known as Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy is pushing the moratorium idea in all four towns. Holland officials are the first to act on the suggestion.
Holland Town Chairman Jerry Wall said he fears that state regulators still can authorize Invenergy’s project.
Wall, however, said he believes at least 50 percent of local residents oppose the wind farm.
“You’ve got to do what the people want,” he said.
Town Board members also voted Monday night to increase from 1,000 feet to 2,640 feet — equal to a half-mile — how far any future wind turbine must be set back from a neighboring property.
With the capacity of the proposed wind farm expected to generate enough electricity to power about 40,000 homes, the Invenergy project would be Brown County's first major commercial wind farm. It also would be larger than any wind farm currently operating in Wisconsin.
Supporters say the project would bring economic development and clean energy to the area, while opponents fear the intrusion and potential health hazards of the 400-foot-tall turbines