Entries in wind siting council PSC (2)
6/20/10 What are they saying about the wind project proposed for Brown County? AND Wind Siting Council Meeting tomorrow at 1:30
Green Bay Press-Gazette, www.greenbaypressgazette.com June 20 2010
Wind farm development has been a hotly debated issue in Northeastern Wisconsin, and the Green Bay Press-Gazette has received numerous letters to the editor, for and against.
Drawing the most response from readers has been a proposal by Invenergy LLC, a Chicago-based company, to build wind turbines in the Brown County towns of Morrison, Wrightstown, Glenmore and Holland. The 100-turbine wind farm would be the first major commercial operation of its kind in Brown County and the largest in the state. It has signed contracts for about $8,000 a year with numerous property owners permitting 400-foot turbines on their properties.
Many property owners and residents in the southern Brown County communities have spoken out against the project, citing negative health effects and the potential loss in property values.
Just last week, the Brown County Board of Health recommended that no wind turbines be built in the area of the proposed wind farm in southern Brown County, citing a potential threat to the groundwater. The area has a history of well contamination because of the porous bedrock peculiar to that region.
Invenergy is awaiting siting rules from the Public Service Commission, which is taking public comments on the wind turbine issue until July 6.
Uncomfortable with proposed turbines
DENMARK — In the Press-Gazette article, "Wind company tries to woo Brown County" (May 11), Kevin Parzyck, the project manager for the proposed 100-turbine Ledge Wind project in Brown County, is quoted as saying "(T)here is a high level of comfort … it's a benefit to the community." This is a misleading statement.
Get facts straight
The BCCRWE is funded by donations of individual members only. BCCRWE is not connected statewide and does not have external funding sources. BCCRWE is for renewable energy that is sustainable and cost-effective. The Ledge Wind Project is neither. It is heavily subsidized by our tax dollars and higher utility rates.
What else is being said that is less than credible? It certainly makes a person wonder.
Turbines in southern Brown County a 'social injustice'
The area has fractured bedrock that can allow contaminants to leak into ground water. Building this wind farm may result in more fractures and poorer well water quality.
A frustrating aspect for the people of southern Brown County is lack of local control. By law, wind turbines are considered "farming" and go on agricultural land, even though they are no more agricultural than a hydroelectric dam or a nuclear power plant.
The decision to put one up is made solely between the developer and the farmer, who both profit, while the surrounding community suffers negative effects, loss of health and wealth (due to declining property values). To me, this is an incredible social injustice.
WIND SITING COUNCIL MEETING NOTICE
Monday, June 21, 2010, beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
Flambeau River Conference Room (3rd Floor)
Public Service Commission Building
610 North Whitney Way, Madison, Wisconsin
Audio or video of the meeting will be broadcast from the PSC Website beginning at 1:30.
CLICK HERE to visit the PSC website, click on the button on the left that says "Live Broadcast". Sometimes the meetings don't begin right on time. The broadcasts begin when the meetings do so keep checking back if you don't hear anything at the appointed start time.
1) Welcome/Review of today’s agenda
2) Review and adoption of meeting minutes of June 15, 2010
3) Background information on questions raised by Council regarding the draft rules
a. Statutory interpretation
c. Commission rulemaking authority
d. Notice requirements
e. Emergency services
f. Vestas manual reference
h. Stray voltage
i. Complaint resolution
j. Commission noise measurement protocol
4) Discuss proposed amendments to straw proposal for Council’s recommendations to
Commission regarding draft rules
5) Next steps/Discussion of next meeting’s time, place and agenda
This meeting is open to the public.
If you have any questions or need special accommodations, please contact Deborah
Erwin at the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin by telephone at (608) 266-3905 or
via e-mail at email@example.com.
4/7/10 Why are so many bats dying in Wisconsin wind projects? Shining a spotlight on a glaring problem
Want to keep up with what's going on with the wind siting council?
Remember to check the docket
NOTE: The 9:00am meeting scheduled for this Friday will be conducted by telephone. The PSC is still working out the details of how the public will have access to it.
When it comes to big wind projects, bats in Wisconsin are in need of a super-hero
Three recent reports indicate bat kill rates in Wisconsin wind projects are ten times the national average. No state except Pennsylvania has ever had such high bat kill numbers which are among the highest in North America.
How many bats are dying in Wisconsin wind projects?
According to the We Energies report, 3,500 bats a year are being killed in the Blue Sky Green Field 88 turbines project. Each 1.5 MW turbine represents 41 bat deaths a year. According to the study, 7,000 bats have perished in the Blue Sky, Green Field wind project during the last two years.
The kill rate is the same in the Cedar Ridge project. The Invenergy Forward project may show higher bat kill numbers.
Given this, Better Plan felt the following posting on the Wind Siting Council Docket was especially worth reading.
WHAT'S ON THE WIND SITING COUNCIL (WSC) DOCKET TODAY?
Visit the docket by CLICKING HERE. The docket number to enter is 1-AC-231
Public comment from Brown County resident regarding concerns about lack of DNR involvement with WSC
The following is the text of a letter I sent to Department of Natural Resources Secretary, Matthew Frank regarding DNR representation on the Wind Siting Rule Making Commission:
April 6, 2010
Dear Secretary Frank,
My wife and I reside within the boundaries of the currently proposed Ledge Wind Energy facility in southern Brown County.
You can imagine that we have a keen interest in the proceedings of the Public Service Commission Wind Siting Commission, which convened on Monday, March 29. We attended that first meeting and plan to be in attendance at the 9:00AM meeting on April 7, as well.
At the onset, I was taken aback by the lopsided fashion in which the commission is populated with wind energy developers and proponents.
As a retired high school social studies and environmental studies teacher, I find it distressing to find no Department of Natural Resources representation on this commission. The Department`s absence raises the following questions in my mind.
Ms. Marilyn Weiss, the Public Service Commission case manager for the Ledge Wind Energy Project, in communication with people in the Ledge Wind Project area has mentioned Shari Koslowsky as the DNR Energy Division contact person for wildlife issues related to wind energy projects.
Why is she not in attendance at Siting Commission meetings?
A recent DNR reviewed bird and bat study conducted at the Blue Skies Green Fields wind farm yielded higher than average mortality rates.
With that wind farm`s location on the Niagara Cuesta, a known bird and bat migration route, should this not be a significant factor of consideration in the development of standards by the Siting Commission? If wildlife species are observed to avoid areas of wind turbine concentration, should habitat loss by abandonment not be a Department concern in a continued focus of wind energy development along the Niagara Escarpment?
The proposed Ledge Wind Energy Project is extensively underlain by karst feature, and significant groundwater contamination has occurred within the project area in the past. The construction of a wind farm involves miles of buried collection cables in addition to excavation of tower foundations. Should Department staff oversee excavation and site restoration procedures?
Considering the elevation of the Niagara Cuesta makes it particularly attractive to wind energy development, should the Department not be heavily involved in the siting standards developmental process to protect ground water resources in such sensitive areas?
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. I look forward to your reply.
I affirm that these comments are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Greenleaf, WI 54126
Tomas Hauge, Director, Wildlife Management, DNR
David Siebert, Director, Office of Energy, DNR
Shari Koslowsky, Conservation Biologist, DNR
NOTE FROM THE BPWI Research Nerd:
If you are a member of any organization that might be as concerned as we are about the Wisconsin bat kill numbers, please make sure they are aware of the recent findings.