Who is on the Wind Siting Council?

Who is on the Wind Siting Council?

Selected members were announced March 16, 2010. They include by law,

Two wind energy system representatives:

Tom Green: Financial interest in the outcome of siting rules? YES

Wind developer, senior project manager,  Wind Capitol Group, Dane County. 

Wind Capitol Group is developing a project in Columbia County

"But whether the wind farm goes in, [Tom Green] said, will depend on what the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin decides, as it sets parameters for wind farms - including setback from neighboring properties - that will apply throughout Wisconsin, and which cannot be made stricter by local authorities.

"You can't have a patchwork of rules throughout the state," Green said...

The rules, when they are adopted, will apply to wind farms such as the one proposed by Wind Capital Group - operations that generate less than 100 megawatts."

SOURCE: Portage Daily Register, January 28, 2010

In April 2009 Wind Capital Group sold the Bent Tree Wind project in Freeborn County, Minnesota to Wisconsin Power and Light Co. (WPL), a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation. Dane County


Bill Rakocy: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? YES

Wind developer, parter and founding member of Emerging Energies of Wisconsin, LLC, WASHINGTON COUNTY

Emerging Energies is developing the Shirley Wind Project in the Town of Glenmore, Brown County. The five hundred foot tall turbines, made by German company, Nordex, will be the largest in the state.

UPDATE: We received an email from a Manitowoc County resident who tells us...

"Bill Rakocy with Emerging Energies also has land signed up in the Mishicot area.  This is a 7 turbine project that was stopped in court with the use of the Manitowoc Co. wind ordnance.   Manitowoc Co. gave them the permits under the old ordinance, but was reversed in court.  Land is still under contract and he will benefit from lesser setbacks that the committee will place in the standards."
We invite Emerging Energies to contact us by CLICKING HERE if this information in inaccurate.

“We’re excited to develop as much wind [power] as we can in Wisconsin,” says partner Bill Rakocy."

“The permitting process is a rather long-term effort,” says Rakocy. “A conditional use permit is good for two years, typically, and it may take you all of that two years to get the balance of the project details put in place. And then there’s production tax credits available from the federal government, and if they expire in the midst of the project, all your work is for naught.”

SOURCE: "Wind Power's Wind Fall" Marketplace Magazine

“For the project, called the Shirley Wind Farm, Nordex will supply cold climate models of the N100s, upgraded to operate in temperatures as low as minus 20° Fahrenheit.  

“We looked very carefully at the N80/N90/N100 Nordex turbines and were convinced by their great track record, along with the quality and experience Nordex brings to the market,” said Bill Rakocy, one of three founders of Emerging Energies.

"We selected the N100s because they accomplish two critical project goals – maximizing available land and wind resources by using the largest, tallest turbines available. We’re excited to introduce them in the US and in Wisconsin.”

The project also represents a shift in the US market toward larger turbines with higher efficiencies and yields. In 2008, the average installed turbine was 1.67 megawatts. Nordex built the first 2.5-megawatt turbine in 2000 and has the longest track record for reliability in the multi-megawatt class, with over 1,000 installed worldwide.

SOURCE: Nordex Press Release


One town representative:

Doug Zweizig: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? NO

  P&Z Commissioner, Union Township, Professor Emeritus, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Served as acting Chairman of the Town of Union P&Z commission during the development of a large wind ordinance. Rock County

"When asked about health and safety effects of wind turbines, EcoEnergy (the company proposing to locate wind turbines in our township) as well as our local utility simply have denied that there are any concerns, using statements such as “The noise from wind turbines is about the same as a refrigerator running in the room. “ or “The noise from wind turbines is masked by the sound of the wind  blowing.”

These often-repeated statements are demonstrably false and would be laughable if they weren’t so disrespectful of the people suffering from sleep deprivation and other chronic health effects resulting from bad placement of wind turbines in Wisconsin. If they believe what they’re saying, they can’t have listened to their own turbines.

They are counting on the ignorance of landowners, editorial writers, and, frankly, legislators to allow them to make such deceitful claims. (Yet, while denying any adverse effects from placement of wind turbines, EcoEnergy uses the word “mitigation” a lot—betraying their recognition of the need to counteract the effects of wind turbines on humans in their vicinity.)"

SOURCE: Submitted testimony, public hearing before the Senate and Assembly Energy Committee regarding turbine siting reform, May 12, 2009

 One county representative:

Lloyd Lueschow: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? NO

Green County Board Supervisor, District 28, Village of New Glarus trustee, Green County

Former Director, Integrated Science Services, Wisconsin DNR,


Two energy industry representatives:

Andy Hesselbach: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? YES

 Wind project manager, We Energies, managed Blue Sky/Green Field project in Fond du Lac County, project manager for recently approved Glacier Hills project in Columbia county. BS in Industrial Engineering, MBA.

"Hesselbach said he's concerned about proposals to move turbines farther from people's homes, given the need for Wisconsin to add more renewable power to comply with the state's renewable portfolio standard.

If "the sound or setback standards are modified in any material way, it is unlikely that this project will be developed, and moreover that any large-scale wind project will be built by any entity in the future in the state of Wisconsin," Hesselbach said. "The only option to utilize wind generation would be to develop projects in other states."

"Winds of Change are Blowing" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 24th 2009

 CLICK on the image below to watch Andy Hesselbach in a news segment about Fond du Lac County wind projects.

Dan Ebert: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? YES

WPPI Energy; Vice President of Policy and External Affairs, Former Chairman of Public Service Commission of Wisconsin 2005-2008, former executive assistant to PSC Chair Bernie Bridge.  Transition Personnel Director for Governor Doyle 2002.  Chairman of CREWE- an organization which lobbies on behalf of wind development in our state.

Dan Ebert, who chaired the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for three years between 2005 and 2008, oversees the legislative and regulatory affairs, corporate communicaton and policy development functions for WPPI which serves 49 municipalities and one electric cooperative in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Upper Michigan.

Ebert was appointed to the chairmanship of the PSC in 2005 by Governor Doyle, having been executive assistant at the commission. Current PSC chairman, Eric Callisto, was appointed in 2008 after Ebert vacated his seat. Prior to being a appointed, Callisto had also been executive assistant at the PSC.

Source: New Glarus Utilities, newglarusutilities.com February 2009


 Two " environmental" group representatives:

Michael Vickerman: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? YES

Executive Director, RENEW Wisconsin, registered lobbyist. RENEW'S "Terawatt Sponsors: include Alliant Energy, American Transmission Company (ATC), Madison Gas & Electric, WE Energies. RENEW also recieves money from Wind developers EcoEnergy, enXco, Horizon Wind Energy, Invenergy LLC, Emerging Energies LLC [SOURCE]

“You can’t stop a project in Wisconsin based on the appearance of these turbines,” [Vickerman] says, “so over the past seven years the opposition has refined its arguments and framed them in the realm of protecting public health and safety.

Here, as far as I’m concerned, is where they reveal their antiwind bias. They allege that they can’t sleep, they suffer from nausea—they express their discomfort in the most hysterical terms, and I think they basically work themselves into a very visceral hatred for wind.

I don’t even know if they have a philosophical objection to wind. They’re maybe congenitally unhappy people and they needed to project their fears and anxieties and resentments onto something new that comes into the neighborhood and disrupts things.”

The Chicago Reader: "There Will Be Wind" May 14, 2009

Ryan Schryver: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? YES

 Self-styled "Global Warming Specialist", Organizer, Advocate: Clean Wisconsin, Madison, Dane County

Click on the image below to hear Ryan Schryver speak about global warming, weather changes in Wisconsin, and the over-use of dirty coal in our state.

Two realtor representatives:

George Krause Jr: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? NO

Real estate broker: Choice Residential LLC, Manitowoc County. Lifelong resident of the Port Cities area in Manitowoc County, Realtor in Manitowoc area since 1989, he was voted Realtor of the Year by the Manitowoc County Board of REALTORS® Inc. in 2009


 Tom Meyer: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? NO

  Realtor, Broker, Restaino & Associates, Middleton, Dane County

Tom Meyer has been a realtor since 1989 and a broker since 1993. P resently
Managing Broker for the Middleton office of Restaino & Associates

Click on the image below to watch Tom Meyer speak about real estate issues or CLICK HERE to watch it at its source


Two landowners living adjacent to or in the vicinity of a wind energy system:

Dwight Sattler: Financial interest in outcome of siting rules? NO

  Landowner, retired diary farmer, Malone, We Energies Blue Sky/Green Field project Fond du Lac County. Nearest turbine to his home is a little over half a mile away.  

Click on the image below to watch a video of Dwight Sattler


Larry Wunsch: Financial interest in outcome of siting guidelines? NO

 Landowner, fire-fighter, Brownsville, Invenergy Forward Energy wind project, Fond du Lac County. Nearest turbine to his home is 1100 feet.

Click on the image below to watch a video of Larry Wunsch

"I have a wind turbine located 1100’ from my home and I can almost see all 86 turbines in the project from my back yard. There will be a lot of testimony today stating that there are no ill effects coming from wind turbines. I am here today to tell you that those statements are nothing but lies.

When the PSC permitted project first came to our Town, we had a lot of questions and concerns.  We asked about noise and were told that they make very little noise.  Nothing could be further from the truth. There are many days where the turbine next to me sounds like a jet engine idling on a taxi-way. There have been many nights where I laid awake from noise generated from these wind turbines.

Think about it. This is a huge, high torque generating device fastened to a 300 foot hollow steel tube mounted to an immense concrete foundation, and you are telling me that this device will not make noise. I am not a sound engineer so I can’t ague sound decibel levels. All I can say is that there are times that these turbines are so noisy that they almost drive me out of my home."

 SOURCE: Public testimony given at a public hearing before the Senate and Assembly Energy Committee regarding turbine siting reform, May 12, 2009 

Click on the image below to watch a video created by Larry Wunsh and submitted as part of his testimony

 Two public members:

David Gilles: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? UNKNOWN

Attorney specializing in energy regulatory law, shareholder, Godfrey & Kahn Attorneys at Law, former general counsel to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin 2003-2007, former Assistant Attorney General during Jim Doyle's term as Attorney General, Madison, Dane County.   

Jennifer Heinzen: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? YES

 Wind Energy Technology Instructor, Lakeshore Technical College, President of RENEW Wisconsin, Manitowoc County

Manitowoc County Wind Energy Systems Advisory Committee from 2005-2006

"I have spent many hours on and underneath wind turbines of all sizes, and have never felt sick. Nor have any of the systems’ owners/hosts that I’ve met. What makes me sick is the profound hatred these near-sided, selfish, wind opponents have towards change and progress."

Source: Letter from Heinzen to the Editor of Isthmus, Posted on RENEW Website September 29, 2009

"Please believe our intent is in no way to belittle local communities or imply that anyone is “dumb,” as you stated in the article. But when irrational and unfounded fears are propagated and allowed to infest the minds of our local decision-makers, the madness must be stopped. I honestly don’t understand why the WINDCOWS and their allies hate wind power… Money? Aesthetics? I quit trying to rationalize it long ago because it really doesn’t matter.

State Statute 66.0401 outlines local governments’ authority to restrict wind and solar energy systems. Those opposed to a project must prove legitimate health and safety concerns. That’s hard to do, considering no civilian has ever been physically harmed by a wind turbine. Therefore, anecdotal tales of “wind turbine syndrome” run rampant on anti-wind websites, but the “evidence” is nothing more than a conglomeration of exaggerations, misrepresentations, and outright fabrications.

SOURCE: Letter from Heinzen to Representative Bob Ziegelbauer, January 27 2009, posted on RENEW website


One University of Wisconsin System faculty member with expertise regarding the health impacts of wind energy systems:

Jevon McFadden,MD, MPH: Financial interest in outcome of wind siting rules? NO

Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine & Public Health 

 2009 Senior Assistant Resident and graduate of Johns Hopkins Bayview Internal Medicine Residency Program; Epidemiology Intelligence Service, 2009 Lieutenant, U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, 1998 Andrews University Student Missionary to Micronisian Island of Yap

 The PSC appoints the members for three−year terms.

The PSC is required to obtain the advice of the council in promulgating rules under the substitute amendment. In addition, the council must survey peer−reviewed scientific research on the health impacts of wind energy as well as national and state regulatory developments regarding the siting of wind energy systems, and submit a report to the legislature every five years describing the research and developments and recommending legislation based on the research and developments.



Wind Siting Rules

SOURCE: PSC Docket 1-AC-231

A. Objective of the Rule:

2009 Wisconsin Act 40 (Act 40) establishes statewide criteria for the installation or use of a wind energy system with a nominal operating capacity of less than 100 megawatts, and helps ensure consistent local procedures for such systems.

Act 40 requires the Commission to promulgate a variety of rules that specify the conditions a city, village, town, or county (political subdivision) may impose on such a system. If a political subdivision chooses to regulate such systems, its ordinances may not be more restrictive than the Commission’s rules.

B. Existing Relevant Policies, New Policies Proposed, and Analysis of Alternatives:

Act 40 identifies several areas that these rules must cover and several areas that they may cover.

It requires that the rules include provisions dealing with the decommissioning of wind energy systems, including restoration of the site, and setback requirements that reasonably protect against health effects that are associated with wind energy systems.

Act 40 also requires rules that specify the information and documentation to be provided in an application for approval, the procedure to be followed by a political subdivision in reviewing the application, the information and documentation to be kept in a political subdivision’s record of its decision, as well as the requirements and procedures for enforcing restrictions included in the rule.

The rules must also require the owner of a wind energy system with a nominal operating capacity of at least one megawatt to maintain proof of financial responsibility ensuring the availability of funds for decommissioning the system.

The rules may also include provisions dealing with issues such as visual appearance, electrical connections to the power grid, interference with radio, telephone or television signals, maximum audible sound levels, and lighting.

Currently, an electric generating facility with a nominal operating capacity of 100 megawatts or more may not be constructed unless the Commission grants a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

Act 40 requires the Commission to consider the restrictions specified in these rules when determining whether to grant a certificate of public convenience and necessity. The rules may also require the Commission to consider the conditions specified in these rules when
determining whether to grant a public utility a certificate of authority for a wind farm smaller than 100 megawatts.

Act 40 also creates a 15-person Wind Siting Council that will, among other things, advise the Commission in the drafting of these rules.

C. Summary and Comparison of Federal Regulation in This Area:

There are a number of federal laws that interact with the issues in this rulemaking, although the Commission is not aware of any that deal with the substance of them; that is, the minimum requirements that a political subdivision may impose.

A few of the federal laws that may inter-relate include the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 USC 4321 et. seq., the Endangered Species Act, 16 USC 1531–1544, and 14 CFR Pt. 77, which requires a Federal Aviation Administration airspace study before constructing certain types of projects.

D. Statutory Authority: 

This rule is authorized under ss. 196.02 (1) and (3), 227.11 and newly-created s. 196.378 (4g), Stats.

E. Time Estimates for Rule Development:

The Commission estimates that approximately 800 hours of Commission staff time will be required in this rulemaking.

F. Entities That May Be Affected:

Affected entities include cities; villages; towns; counties; persons and entities that own, want to construct, or want to host wind energy systems; and landowners near such proposed wind energy systems.



Eric Callisto: I’m just going to be here a few minutes to say hi, wish you all well, and then I’ll let you get at it.

 Couple of quick things. First and foremost thank you for your commitment, this is a major undertaking and no small commitment of your time and the commission’s time, obviously, but these are important processes.

 This is probably--- and I say this in a room full of energy people, -- with telecom guys I would probably say something different—this is probably the most important rule-making we have going right now, some on the telecom side as well, for the obvious reasons.

 This a very important issue for the state and I think the statute gets us going in the right direction but as we all know the statute is sort of the framework for these kind of processes, the real detail comes in the rule making. And this advisory council I think is going to provide an important part of that level of detail.

 Before I came to the commission I worked in the department of regulation and licensing an agency that has a very collaborative process between the agency and assisting advisory boards. I’d like to think we can use a similar model here. I really hope we can get to a place of concensus from the council.

  I recognize that’s asking a lot. We have by design very disparate points of view on the council. I think ultimately that cauldron of dialog and approaches to this issue will make the rule a better rule. I know a lot of you have very strong views on what’s the right way to go on this, I encourage you to express those views but I also encourage you to work towards a final solution.

 It’s very helpful to the commission as we take this rule up if we can get from this council what amounts to a concensus point of view. I know that’s a high hurdle to set but I’m going to set it up here at the front end. 

 Again, thank you very much. I do want to note that Elizabeth Hanigan—she’s here – Elizabeth is a Foley lawyer who has offered to do some pro-bono work for the group, she has worked on all sides of this issue with various clients so she’ll be able to help in a [scribner?]context and I just encourage the council to turn to her as  needed for that type of work.

 So again, thank you for your time, for your devotion to this important topic and I wish best success. We’re going to get this done hopefully by July so it’s a very quick timeframe. So please [inaudible], Thank you.