Suspension of Wind Siting Rules Kills Brown County Wind Project
Wind company cites regulatory uncertainty as reason for cancellation
March 22, 2011
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. — Citing the recent suspension of the wind siting rules (PSC 128) and the “uncertainty generated by the current legislative and regulatory climate,” Invenergy LLC announced yesterday that it would no longer pursue the development of a proposed wind farm in Brown County.
“Governor Walker’s war on wind energy is killing good Wisconsin jobs,” said Keith Reopelle, senior policy director at Clean Wisconsin. “Eighty percent of Wisconsin residents support wind energy, yet the Governor and Republican legislative leaders seem determined to keep wind farms from being built in our state.”
Earlier this month, the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules (JCRAR) voted on party lines to suspend PSC 128, a set of rules created by the Public Service Commission to replace a chaotic patchwork of local ordinances for permitting wind farms with sensible, statewide standards. The committee’s vote came only weeks after the full Legislature refused to pass a special session bill proposed by Gov. Walker that would have significantly increased regulations on the development of wind farms.
Wind companies and clean energy advocates alike have warned that suspending or repealing the wind siting rule would result in canceled projects and lost jobs.
In a letter addressed to PSC Secretary Sandra Paske yesterday, Invenergy LLC said it would no longer pursue a permit for the development of the Ledge Wind Energy Center, a proposed project that would have created dozens of jobs constructing and maintaining 100 wind turbines in Brown County.
“With the recent suspension of Chapter PSC 128 and the unpredictability of the course of the ensuing legislative and administrative process, Invenergy cannot justify continuing to make significant investments regarding the Ledge Wind Energy Center while substantial uncertainty persists regarding relevant project regulations,” read the letter.
“Governor Walker claims that Wisconsin is open for business, yet he’s working with the Legislature to close the door on wind energy in the state,” said Reopelle. “We urge the Legislature to reverse this course of action, and embrace the job-creating potential of wind power in Wisconsin.”