8/31/10 ESCAPE FROM WISCONSIN: New PSC wind rules: Non participating homeowners setback: Forty story turbine 1240 feet from your house, 440 feet from property line, 50/45 dbA allowable noise, 30 hours allowable shadow flicker. Hope you like it!
Bucky can you hear me?
New PSC wind rules: Non participating homeowners setback: Forty story turbine 1240 feet from your house, 440 feet from property line, 50/45 dbA allowable noise, 30 hours allowable shadow flicker, hush money option for those living within half mile.
SOURCE: PSC PRESS RELEASE at wisbusiness.com
PSC: Finalizes wind siting rules
Contact: Teresa Weidemann-Smith, (608) 266-9600
Uniform Standards Head to the Legislature
MADISON - The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (Commission) today finished its work on administrative rules governing the siting of wind turbines in Wisconsin. The rules were drafted in response to 2009 Wisconsin Act 40, recently-enacted legislation directing the Commission to promulgate rules that specify the restrictions local units of government may impose on the installation or use of wind energy systems.
“I am happy to have these rules completed,” said Commission Chairperson Eric Callisto. “Establishing clear and consistent siting standards is critical to removing the confusion that currently surrounds non-utility wind projects in Wisconsin.”
The Commission’s rules will function as a uniform ceiling of standards to guide the local regulation of wind siting, operation, and decommissioning for projects less than 100 megawatts in generating capacity. The rules specify how a political subdivision can establish setback requirements, noise and shadow flicker standards, and mechanisms that give non-participating landowners a stake in wind energy projects sited in their area. The rules include the following provisions:
Notice Requirements. At least 90 days before filing an application, the wind energy system owner must give notice to landowners within one mile of proposed wind turbine locations.
Noise Performance Standards. A political subdivision can require wind energy systems to be sited and operated in a manner that does not exceed 45 dBA during nighttime hours and 50 dBA during daytime hours. Noise limits will be measured from the outside wall of non-participating residences and occupied community buildings.
Shadow Flicker Performance Standards. A political subdivision can require wind energy systems to be sited and operated in a manner that does not cause more than 30 hours per year of shadow flicker for non-participating residences or occupied community buildings. If a wind energy system causes more than 20 hours per year of shadow flicker, a political subdivision can require the wind energy system owner to install mitigation measures for affected landowners, at the expense of the wind turbine owner.
Setbacks. A political subdivision can impose minimum safety setbacks of 1.1 times the maximum blade tip height of a wind turbine for participating residences, non-participating property lines, public road rights-of-way, and overhead communication and electric transmission or distribution lines. Setbacks of up to 3.1 times the maximum blade tip height of a wind turbine may be established for nonparticipating residences and occupied community buildings.
Good Neighbor Payments. The rules allow local units of government to require wind energy system owners to provide monetary compensation to non-participating landowners located within one-half mile of a wind turbine site. A political subdivision may not require these payments for non-participating landowners to exceed 25% of the payments being made to a landowner hosting a wind turbine in the project.
Complaint Resolution. The rules establish complaint resolution requirements for wind energy system owners, and a process for requesting political subdivision review of unresolved complaints. A political subdivision’s decision on review of a complaint is appealable to the Commission.
The Commission’s action today caps off six months of intense work in developing uniform wind siting rules for Wisconsin. As part of its process, the Commission established a 15-member Wind Siting Council, which, after months of deliberations, submitted its recommendations to the Commission earlier this month. The Commission also held public hearings earlier this summer in Fond du Lac, Tomah, and Madison, and accepted over 1800 public comments into the record. The Commission’s rules now head to the Legislature, where the presiding officer of each house will have 10 days to refer the rules to a standing committee for review.
PSC Sets new rules for wind farms
SOURCE: Green Bay Press-Gazette, www.greenbaypressgazette.com
August 31, 2010
By Tony Walter
Wind turbine siting rules approved Monday by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission likely will have little impact on a Chicago-based company’s attempts to build a 100-turbine wind farm in southern Brown County.
The PSC established guidelines for local governments to set restrictions on projects less than 100 megawatts in generating capacity.
However, the Ledge Wind project proposed by Invenergy LLC in the towns of Morrison, Holland, Glenmore and Wrightstown would exceed 100 megawatts. The company submitted its application to the PSC last year but was told to make some changes.
Invenergy officials have said they would wait for the new siting rules before resubmitting their application because they believed the rules might affect their project. Kevin Parzyck, project manager for the Ledge Wind farm, was not available for comment Monday.
The new rules could affect other wind turbine expansion in Brown County.
The rules require wind energy system owners to give 90 days notice about the filing of their turbine proposal to landowners within 1 mile of a proposed location.
The rules would also allow local governments to limit wind farms to not be louder than 45 decibels during nighttime hours and 50 decibels during daytime hours. Normal conversation and background radio noise is rated at 45 decibels. The noise limits will be measured from the outside wall of nonparticipating residences and occupied community buildings.
The rules also let local governments require wind energy system owners to provide monetary compensation to landowners who won’t have turbines on their property but are located within one-half mile of a site. Local officials may not require these payments for nonparticipating landowners to exceed 25 percent of the payments being made to a landowner hosting a wind turbine in the project.
Although the wind farm proposal for southern Brown County wouldn’t be affected by the new rules, Invenergy expects to resubmit its application soon. Invenergy’s efforts to build the wind farm are being opposed by a citizen’s group, Brown County Citizens for Responsible Wind Energy, that claims Invenergy’s plan poses a health risk to property owners nearby.
A representative from the group could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The Wisconsin Legislature enacted a law in 2009 that directed the PSC to come up with rules to guide local municipalities in their control projects less than 100 megawatts. A Wind Siting Council was appointed to draft the rules, which the PSC approved on Monday.
The Legislature can send the issue back to the PSC for changes or it can accept the commission’s decision by taking no action.
PSC REGULATORS VOTE TO ADOPT WIND STANDARDS
SOURCE Journal Sentinel, www.jsonline.com
August 30 2010
By Thomas Content
State energy regulators completed work Monday on rules that would restrict the location of wind turbines in Wisconsin.
The Public Service Commission voted 3-0 to adopt standards for noise and shadow flicker, and opted to allow local governments to require “good neighbor payments” to residents who live within one-half mile of a wind turbine but aren’t hosting a turbine on their land.
Commissioners have grappled with details of the rules during a series of meetings over the past few weeks, as the agency scrambled to complete the rules by the end of August. The rules are now being submitted to the state Legislature for review.
At Monday’s meeting, commissioners Mark Meyer and Lauren Azar supported a more stringent safety setback for wind turbines than had been proposed by the commission’s wind siting advisory council. PSC Chairman Eric Callisto said performance standards adopted in the rules meant that a more stringent setback wasn’t required. But Azar argued for a bigger safety setback because it is unclear how well the new performance standards will work.
“What we’re going to see is the loss of some quality land for reasonable projects that, if you followed the (performance) standards, would otherwise be safe,” Callisto said.
In a law passed earlier this year, the Legislature asked the commission to develop the standards that would eliminate a patchwork of regulations and wind-power bans that some counties have passed.
Callisto said in a statement after the meeting that he was pleased the commission has adopted the rules.
“Establishing clear and consistent siting standards is critical to removing the confusion that currently surrounds non-utility wind projects in Wisconsin,” he said.
The rules were controversial because of the tension between wind developers and property owners concerned about shadow flicker, noise and other effects caused by turbines.
The “good neighbor payments” and other restrictions will help address some of the tension, said Dan Ebert, chairman of the wind siting advisory council.
“For non-participating landowners, it’s this sense of loss of control, the sense of decisions being made without considering them, that has resulted in a lot of controversy,” he said. Giving those landowners “a stake in the project so that they will ultimately see some of the direct benefits will go a long way to reducing the controversy.”
The safety setback established by the commission would be 3.1 times the maximum height of a blade. That would be equivalent to the setbacks imposed by the commission when it endorsed the We Energies Glacier Hills wind farm in Columbia County.
The rules adopted govern smaller wind farms. Utility-scale wind farms remain under review under a separate process.
WANT MORE? WIND TURBINES IN THE NEWS:
After investing one billion dollars, John Deere is quitting wind business:
Deere said in February it was reviewing options for John Deere Renewables. It has invested $1 billion over the past five years in the financing, development and ownership of wind energy projects.
On Tuesday, Deere said the deal will allow it to get back to what it does best, which is manufacturing farm equipment.