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4/8/10 Dear Wind Siting Council. How are you? Two members of the public with two different objectives post comments to WSC docket AND Video from WSC April 7th 2010 meeting

Want to keep up with what's going on with the wind siting council?

Remember to check the docket

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin

Docket 1-AC-231

CLICK HERE for location, time and dates of WSC meetings. 

9:00am meeting scheduled for this Friday will be conducted by telephone. The PSC will broadcast the meeting live. To find out more about PSC live broadcasts visit the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Website by CLICKING HERE

Then click on the Live Broadcast button to find directions on how to listen.

NOTE: The PSC does not record or preserve any recordings of the meetings. The public is free to record the live broadcasts.

What's on the WSC Docket today?

Public comments recently posted:


Thank you for taking the time to read my concerns and thank you for serving on the Wind Siting Council.

In your April 1st meeting, Dan Ebert said:

"Our work has to help our state's utilities and developers move
toward meeting their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements"

This is not the purpose or authority of the Wind Siting Council spelled out in the legislation that created this council. Act40 specifically states the following about the work of the Wind Siting Council:

"The subject matter of these rules shall include setback
requirements that provide reasonable protection from
any health effects, including health effects from noise
and shadow flicker, associated with wind energy systems.
The subject matter of these rules shall also include
decommissioning and may include visual appearance,
lighting, electrical connections to the power grid, setback
distances, maximum audible sound levels, shadow
flicker, proper means of measuring noise, interference
with radio, telephone, or television signals, or other matters"

It is the job of the council to promulgate rules that protect Wisconsin residents by addressing these issues, NOT promulgate rules that make the Renewal Portfolio Standards (RPS) achievable at the expense of the items listed above.

Wind Energy is one of many clean energy sources. The RPS has to be met responsibly and safely. The council's job is to determine the siting rules that protect Wisconsin citizens by thoroughly researching the topics spelled out in ACT40, and NOT to endorse wind turbines (one of MANY clean energy sources) as the answer to the RPS, and NOT to create rules that build in an "acceptable amount of suffering" for some people to bear simply to ensure the RPS is met through Wind Energy.

There are many renewable energy sources that can help utilities / developers meet the RPS without the massive impacts to peoples' lives that Wind Turbines inflict **when** sited too close to where people live, work, or frequent. When sited properly Wind Energy can be a good technology to use for generation.

**Please do not put the technology ahead of Wisconsin citizens.

Thank you for your time and effort in creating responsible siting rules.

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

Steve Deslauriers

Brown County, WI



Firstly, I thank the Wind Siting Council (Council) for its work.

Second, I address two issues about which there has been considerable comment and debate.


With hundreds of thousands of wind turbines operating throughout the world, the sound characteristics of wind turbines are well understood. What starts out as an aversion to the idea of wind turbines nearby can, with some people, evolve into an ongoing source of stress, which could have health-related consequences.

The Council should weigh these essentially self-imposed health effects against the overall public benefit of clean energy generation. Furthermore, the Council can certainly exercise the precautionary principle without "...awaiting definitive research." (Acoustic Ecology Institute mission statement at http://www.acousticecology.org/aboutus.html) The Council can review the extensive record established in proceedings before the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, for example. It could also compile and summarize allowed sound levels established in state-level rule-makings, for example in Minnesota and in Canada.

Finally, in evaluating sound levels, the Council should recommend levels in the middle of the range established in previous rule-makings, as those levels are most likely to balance the public benefit of clean energy generation with the effects of noise on residents. It could choose to weigh more heavily the rule-makings that affect more turbines and/or more residents.

I mention this because the Council is likely to be served many examples of very low sound levels, spiced with anecdotes of the suffering caused by sound. News stories, anecdotes and examples do not pass the test of information that helps to weigh the benefits and the costs that is necessary to make good public policy.

Preempting the right to use land within a setback
According to information submitted by CWEST (see Hilgenberg's second submitted comment), a neighbor holding acreage within a setback (e.g., one from a wind turbine to an inhabited structure), would be prevented from building on this acreage. In fact, this is not how zoning generally works. When the permit for a wind turbine's placement is issued, the setbacks specified apply to existing conditions. Subsequent landowners can choose to build closer to the wind turbine than what the setback for the original inhabited structure allowed, assuming their structures meet other zoning requirements.
The Council should remember that the right to use one's property is also held by the landowner who wishes to lease land for the purposes of generating clean energy from a wind turbine. Imposing unreasonable setbacks and local moratoria effectively denies that right to use one's land.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Alexander DePillis

Dane County

Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2010 at 10:26AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off

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