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3/31/10 QUADRUPLE FEATURE: Kewaunee County Town of Carlton passes Large Wind Moratorium AND Where are they putting the turbines? And Hurry, hurry, hurry! Wind developers are waiting: PSC wants rules in three months, AND what's on the WSC docket today?

BREAKING NEWS:

Town of Carlton passes moratorium
Residents of Kewaunee County’s Town of Carlton  filled the room at the zoning board hearing Monday night to show support for a moratorium on wind project development throughout the township. After the hearing the moratorium was passed by unanimous vote.

HOW MUCH OF WISCONSIN WILL BE AFFECTED BY THE WIND SITING COUNCIL GUIDELINES?

CLICK HERE to find out who is on the siting council

One of the issues the siting council will be addressing is shadow-flicker. Click on the image below to see what shadow flicker looks like in the dining room of a home in the Cedar Ridge project in Fond du lac County.

 The family in this home didn't know anything about wind turbine shadow flicker until the day it started hitting their home. They do have the option of pulling down all the blinds and turning on the lights in order to eat together at the dining room table during the day. They also get shadow flicker on moonlit nights.

This is a map of counties where wind developers have expressed interest in siting projects. If we've missed any CLICK HERE to contact us and let us know so we can update the map.

´╗┐NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:  

The next Wind Siting Council meeting is Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm 

-Developing guiding principles- Developer/owner responsibility

Public Service Commission Building
610 North Whitney Way, Madison, Wisconsin

[Click here for map]

Rule deadline spooks wind farm neighbors

SOURCE: Daily Reporter

By Paul Snyder

March 29, 2010

Developers and landowners disagree over a state wind farm council’s three-month schedule to set turbine placement guidelines.

Developers with proposals on deck want the standards soon. Property owners do not want the state to rush a decision.

“These are life-changing decisions that will be made, and you can’t weigh health and safety issues against a three-month timeline,” said Lynda Barry-Kawula, a Spring Valley resident and co-founder of Better Plan Wisconsin, a volunteer group representing residents affected by wind farm development.

The state’s Wind Siting Council, appointed by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, met for the first time Monday in Madison, and PSC Chairman Eric Callisto said he expects the council’s work to be done by July.

VISIT THE DAILY REPORTER’S WIND FARM PROJECT PROFILE PAGE

The 15-member council was formed through a law passed last year to create common guidelines for wind farms generating less than 100 megawatts of electricity. Currently, the PSC reviews all projects that generate 100 megawatts or more, and local governments create ordinances for projects that generate less.

In addition to determining property setback distances for turbines, the council will review PSC-drafted rules relating to noise levels, shadow flickers on nearby properties and how best to restore sites after utilities decommission wind farms.

The council’s guidelines will govern the smaller wind farms, but also could apply to larger projects.

The lack of uniform standards is costing Wisconsin projects, said Dean Baumgartner, executive vice president of technical services and construction for St. Louis-based Wind Capital Group’s Madison office.

“If the cost of developing wind farms isn’t as competitive here as it is in other states, then developers will look elsewhere,” he said. “And Wisconsin will see that tax base go to other states.”

Baumgartner said Wind Capital Group is considering projects in Wisconsin, but the company will wait until uniform standards are in place. He said he’s encouraged by the PSC’s tight timeline.

The state needs to establish standards as quickly as possible, said Deb Irwin, the PSC’s renewable energy specialist.

“There are a lot of developers waiting,” she said.

The PSC will have a draft set of rules ready for council review in two weeks, at which point council members can raise issues or propose changes for a final version. The council will hold at least two public hearings on the rules — one in Monroe County and one in another county besides Dane County.

Irwin said if the council’s work is not done by July, it can continue to debate changes. But she said the PSC wants a final product this summer.

That worries Gerry Meyer, a Brownsville resident who lives near Chicago-based Invenergy LLC’s Forward Wind Energy Center.

“I don’t know if they can really reach consensus in that time,” he said. “There might be some strong votes, but I think it’s going to go one way, and that’s stacked against landowners.”

Ryan Schryver, a member of the council and grass-roots organizer for Madison-based Clean Wisconsin Inc., said the aggressive timeline is good and concerned landowners will get a chance to air their concerns.

“I think the PSC’s been pretty clear about taking the existing ordinances and the changes to the public, and I think that will continue,” he said. “We’re committed to getting the public involved.”

SECOND FEATURE: What's on the Wind Siting Council (WSC) docket today?

CLICK HERE to find out who is on the siting council

Public Comment from Town of Forest, St. Croix County, Wisconsin regarding Emerging Energies plan to site wind project there

  I LIVE IN THE TOWN OF FOREST IN ST CROIX COUNTY WISCONSIN WHICH IS A PROPOSED SITE FOR A 100 MW WIND ENERGY PROJECT CONSISTING OF (40) 2.5 MW TURBINES MOUNTED ON 300 FT TOWERS.

THE DEVELOPER IS EMERGING ENERGIES INC BASED HERE IN WISCONSIN.

THERE WAS A TOWN BOARD MEETING IN FOREST ON MARCH 11, 2010 AT 7 PM WHICH HAD TWO OF THEIR REPRESENTATVES GIVING A POWER POINT PRESENTATION ON THE FINDINGS OF THE TWO YEAR WIND STUDY FOR THE AREA.

THE ATTENDEES AT THE MEETING WERE MAINLY LAND OWNERS THAT HAD EXPRESSED INTEREST IN HAVING TURBINES PLACED ON THEIR PROPERTY FOR PROFIT.

AS FAR AS I COULD TELL, I WAS THE ONLY RESIDENT THERE THAT DID NOT HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN THIS PROJECT.

I ASKED A FEW QUESTIONS ON SITE REQUIREMENTS, SUCH AS SET BACKS FROM PRIVATE RESIDENCES FOR TURBINES, OVERHEAD OR UNDERGROUND FEEDER CABLES AND TRANSMISSION LINES AND THE PLACEMENT OF A SUBSTATION.

 I COULD TELL THAT MY QUESTIONS EVOKED SURPRISE FROM THE EMERGING ENERGIES PRESENTOR.

MY BACKGROUND IS IN THE ELECTRICAL UTILITY AND CONTRACTOR MARKETS AND I DO SELL PRODUCTS INTO WIND ENERGY PROJECTS.

I HAVE BEEN TO OVER A DOZEN WIND PROJECTS SITES IN TEXAS, WYOMING, OREGON AND OKLAHOMA. MOST OF THESE PROJECTS IN THOSE STATES ARE BEING DEVELOPED IN REMOTE AND VERY WIDE OPEN AREAS. UNLIKE WISCONSIN, WHERE THE AVERAGE FARM IS 40 TO 400 ACRES, RANCHES OUT IN THESE PLACES ARE MEASURED IN 640 ACRE SECTIONS AND ARE COMPRISED OF THOUSANDS OF ACRES.

THE PLACEMENT OF TURBINES USUALLY HAS NO EFFECT ON PRIVATE RESIDENCES BECAUSE OF THIER ISOLATED LOCATIONS.

THE PROJECT PROPOSED FOR THE TOWN OF FOREST WILL BE LOCATED IN AN AREA THAT HAS MUCH HIGHER POPULATION DENSITY AND MANY HOMES WILL BE AFFECTED.

I WAS NOT GIVEN A CLEAR ANSWER ON MY SETBACK QUESTION, I WAS TOLD THEY COULD PLACE A TOWER 1.1 TIMES IT'S HEIGHT FROM MY PROPERTY LINE OR 11OO FT FROM MY HOME....MAYBE 1200 FT. THIS IS WAY TOO CLOSE.

WE SHOULD NOT LEAVE HOMEOWNERS AT THE MERCY OF THE PROJECT DEVELOPERS. THE NOISE AND LOW FREQUENCY SOUNDS EMMITTED 24 HRS A DAY ARE HAZARDOUS TO HEALTH OVER EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME.

THE FLICKERING EFFECT FROM THE SUN CAN BE VERY ANNOYING. THE PEOPLE IN THE TOWN OF FOREST HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF LIVING TOO CLOSE TO THESE 300 FOOT TURBINES AND THEY NEED TO BE INFORMED.

A FEW OF US WILL BE STARTING A CITIZENS ACTION GROUP TO EDUCATE LOCAL RESIDENTS ON THESE ISSUES, AND TO STOP THE PROJECT IF THE DEVELOPER DOES NOT RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF PRIVATE RESIDENCES AND THE HEALTH AND WELL BEING OF PEOPLE LIVING AND WORKING IN AREA.

I AM NOT OPPOSED TO WIND ENERGY, BUT THERE MUST BE REGULATIONS TO ENSURE RESPONSIBLE DEVELOPMENT. I ASK THAT YOUR COMMITTEE ESTABLISH A 4000 - 5000 FOOT SET BACK REGUATION FOR THESE TURBINES AWAY FROM PRIVATE RESIDENCES

 I affirm that these comments are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
JEFF ERICSON

NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: Bill Rakocy, partner and founding member of Emerging Energies is on the Wind Siting Council which will be setting rules for siting wind turbines in our state and like many others on the council, he has a direct financial interest in establishing short setbacks.

Emerging Energies is bringing the largest turbines ever sited in Wisconsin to the Brown County Town of Glenmore. They are fifty stories tall (500 feet) and made by German Company, Nordex

  More from the docket:

Wind projects affect the lives of home owners for 25 - 35 years.

Careful study needs to be done to insure there are no adverse health and safety affects from inadequate siting guidlines.

Since not everyone can attend 2 or 3 hearings per week, this study should not try to be rushed through in 3 months time.

I would also like to see more hearing held near the affected communities. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be heard.

Thank You.

I affirm that these comments are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

Curt Hilgenberg, Town of Holland

Visit the docket by CLICKING HERE. The docket number to enter is 1-AC-231

ADDED MARCH 29, 2010

Prepared for Wind Siting Council for Informational Purposes March 29, 2010

ADMINISTRATIVE RULES PROCESS

(CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD)

DRAFT RULE OUTLINE:

(CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD)

PSC Chapter 128 Draft Compiled Rule Outline Prepared for Wind Siting Council

 

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS FIRST STEP - STATEMENT OF SCOPE

• Commission staff prepares a draft Statement of Scope
• Commission reviews and approves the Statement of Scope
• Statement of Scope is published in the Wisconsin Administrative Register
• Waiting period

SECOND STEP - HEARING STEP

• Commission staff prepares draft rule
• Once draft is ready, staff prepares a Notice of Hearing and other information regarding the draft rule
• The Commission reviews and approves the draft rule and Notice
• The Notice of Hearing and Proposed Rule are published in the Wisconsin Administrative Register
• A hearing is held and comments taken

For the Wind Siting Rules, at least 2 hearings (one in Monroe County, and one outside
Dane and Monroe Counties, but where developers have proposed wind energy systems)

THIRD STEP - LEGISLATIVE STEP

• Commission staff redrafts rule based on comments
• Commission staff prepares a Report to the Legislature
• The Commission reviews and approves the Final Rules and the Report to the Legislature
• The Rule and the Report to the Legislature are sent to both the Assembly and the Senate
• The Rule is assigned to a Committee in each house
• Committees have 30 days to review the rule
A committee may schedule a hearing or request that the Commission modify the rule

FOURTH STEP - FINAL STEP

• At the conclusion of the legislative rule review period, the Rule is approved
• The Final Rule is sent to Secretary of State
• The Final Rule is published in the Wisconsin Administrative Register
• Generally, the Final Rule becomes effective the first day of the first month following publication PSC REF#:129087
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
RECEIVED: 03/29/10, 3:06:54 PM

DRAFT RULE OUTLINE:

(CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD)

PSC Chapter 128 Draft Compiled Rule Outline Prepared for Wind Siting Council

WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS

PSC 128.01 Definitions.

• Large wind energy system
• Small wind energy system
• Other

PSC 128.02 Applicability.

• Applicable to projects on going forward basis, except as noted
• Commission may waive or modify a rule provision in an exceptional situation

PSC 128.03 Siting criteria.

• Setbacks for design and construction of a wind energy system• Compliance with setback provisions measured from the centerline of the turbine tower to the nearest point on the foundation of the building

• Owners of occupied buildings, participating residences or non-participating residences may waive setbacks

• Long term land use planning may not preclude construction of wind turbines

• No height or location limitations near public use airports or heliports stricter than FAA obstruction standards

• No height or location limitations near private medical facility heliports use for air ambulance service stricter than the FAA obstruction standards that apply to public use heliports

• Developer shall consider noise standard in siting decisions

• Developer shall consider shadow flicker impacts in siting decisions

• Developer shall consider radio, television, phone interference in siting decisions and avoid interference to extent practicable

• Developer shall test for stray voltage near project facility prior to construction and after the project is completed; developer to rectify stray voltage problems arising from the construction and operation of the project

• Developer shall work with political subdivisions to minimize individual hardships

PSC 128.04 Development of a wind energy system.

• Developer is required to provide advance notice to landowners near project area and political subdivisions where project is located

• Possible requirement for developer to provide notice to commission

• Developer to consult with DNR regarding natural resources

• Developer to consult with Wisconsin Historical Society regarding historical and archeological resources

• Developer to develop a transportation plan in consultation with DOT and political subdivision

• Political subdivision may require developer to submit a detailed roads plan PSC

• Developer to coordinate with local first responders and air ambulance services regarding emergency evacuation plan

• Political subdivision may require developers to consult with owners of private use airports in the project area

• Consideration of impacts on aerial spraying practices

• Consideration of impacts on existing agricultural or other commercial enterprises

• Compensation for non-participating residences near turbines

• Possible recording requirement for wind leases and easements or a memorandum thereof

• Requirements regarding provisions to be contained in a wind lease or easement

PSC 128.05 Construction and operation.

• Developer/owner may not materially deviate from the approved application without separate approval from the political subdivision

• No advertising material permitted on a wind turbine

• Political subdivision may not impose structure lighting restrictions that would conflict with

FAA specifications

• Developer/owner shall restore the project area after construction is complete

• Developer/owner shall ensure the outside of a turbine is not climbable

• Developer/owner shall ensure access doors are locked

• Developer/owner shall post appropriate warning signage

• Developer/owner shall post 24/7 emergency contact, ownership, and location information

• Political subdivision may create rules regarding blasting

• Developer/owner shall construct, maintain, and operate collector circuit facilities in compliance with National Electrical Safety Code and Wis. Admin. Code ch. PSC 114

• Developer/owner shall construct, maintain, and operate all other wind project facilities in compliance with National Electrical Code

• Developer/owner shall repair, maintain and replace wind turbines and associated facilities as needed to keep the wind energy system in good repair and operating condition

• Developer/owner shall report to political subdivision regarding operations and maintenance

• Developer/owner shall notify political subdivision and commission of an emergency

• Developer/owner shall establish emergency procedures

• Developer/owner shall operate the project in a manner that meets specified noise limits (dBA) during daytime hours

• Upon complaint by an affected resident, noise limit shall be reduced during nighttime hours for areas related to the complaint

• Methods available to comply with noise limits

• Developer/owner relieved from meeting nighttime noise limit if affected resident agrees to a waiver or settlement

• Noise limits in the event of a steady pure tone (whine, whistle, screech, hum)

• Compliance with noise limits shall be measured or otherwise evaluated at the outside wall of residence

• Developer/owner to conduct pre- and post-construction noise studies

PSC 128.06 Enforcement and mitigation.

• Developer/owner shall maintain a log of all complaints

• Developer/owner shall make copies of this complaint log available to any local monitoring committees

• Developer/owner shall provide a contact person and phone number for complaints

• Developer/owner shall work with landowners to mitigate the effects of shadow flicker

• Requirement to mitigate shadow flicker at eligible residences triggered by complaint regarding shadow flicker

• Developer/owner to allow resident to choose a preferred reasonable mitigation technique

• Developer/owner to consult with affected residents regarding the resident’s preferred reasonable mitigation solution for radio and television interference

• Developer/owner to work with affected cellular providers to provide adequate coverage in the affected area

PSC 128.07 Decommissioning.

• Developer/owner must decommission wind energy system at end of its useful life

• Time periods for decommissioning

• Developer/owner to submit decommissioning and site restoration plan to political subdivision

• Developer/owner shall ensure decommissioned sites are restored

• Developer/owner shall demonstrate financial ability to decommission

PSC 128.08 Political subdivision review of a wind energy system.

• Political subdivision may require developer/owner to obtain approval for expansion of a pre-existing or previously approved wind energy system

• Political subdivision’s approval remains in effect despite a change in ownership of the wind energy system

• Conditions for political subdivision granting approval

• Political subdivision may deny an application if conditions are not met

• Political subdivision shall issue its decision in writing, based on written findings of fact, supported by evidence in the record

• Before an applicant files an application, applicant shall submit to the political subdivision a notice of intent to file

• Political subdivision may charge reasonable application fees or obtain reimbursement for reasonable review expenses

• Political subdivision conflicts of interest must be disclosed

• Notice of application shall be given to property owners in the area

• Application shall be available for public review

• Political subdivision to establish a process for accepting public comments

• Political subdivisions may establish a joint application review process when multiple political subdivisions are involved

PSC Chapter 128 Draft Compiled Rule Outline Prepared for Wind Siting Council

PSC 128.09 Application filing requirements.

• Content requirements for an application to a political subdivision

• For incomplete applications, applicants must provide additional information

• For incomplete applications, the political subdivision may require applicant to resubmit its application after integrating additional information

• Subsequent 45-day completeness review periods will begin after the responses to all completeness items are received

• Political subdivision may request additional information subsequent to determining that an application is complete; applicant required to respond in a timely manner

• Political subdivision may require submission of duplicate copies of the application
PSC 128.10 Commission review.

• Appeal will be treated as application to open a docket

• Appeals must be in writing

• Appealing party must serve all relevant parties with copy of appeal

• Requirements regarding filing the record of the local decision being appealed

• Commission may require additional information to be filed

• Commission may proceed without a hearing, but may set a hearing if Commission believes a hearing is necessary

´╗┐NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD:  

The next Wind Siting Council meeting is Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm 

-Developing guiding principles- Developer/owner responsibility

Public Service Commission Building
610 North Whitney Way, Madison, Wisconsin

[Click here for map]

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