Harnessing Wisconsin's wind power potential
Wind energy is a clean, renewable energy source that helps reduce our dependence on dirty coal, creates a new source of revenue for our farmers and boosts demand for wind turbine parts manufactured by Wisconsin companies. Unfortunately, for many years wind developers passed over Wisconsin due to an over-stringent patchwork of local regulations.
In 2009, Clean Wisconsin secured an enormous environmental victory when the State Legislature passed Wisconsin Act 40, a law that charges the Public Service Commission (PSC) with replacing the chaotic patchwork of local regulations for permitting wind farms with sensible statewide standards. Following some legislative wrangling and a temporary suspension in 2011, the wind siting rules were enacted in 2012. Clean Wisconsin is now working to make sure that the rules enacted by the PSC will help promote the smart and responsible growth of wind energy in Wisconsin.
How we contributed to this success:
In March 2011, a legislative committee voted to suspend
Wisconsin's uniform, statewide standards for siting wind energy system, driving several wind companies out of Wisconsin. Over the next year, Clean Wisconsin joined other clean energy advocate and business in a major effort to educate legislators and the public about the importance of the wind siting rule. This effort culminiated in a victory in 2012 when the rule was reinstated
As a member of the Public Service Commission’s Wind Siting Advisory Council, Clean Wisconsin worked with a broad group of stakeholders
, including businesses, environmentalists and health professionals to create recommendations to standardize statewide rules for permitting safe wind farms. The PSC used these recommendations to craft the final wind siting rules.
After nearly two years of debate, the state Legislature took an important step to promote clean energy when it enacted wind siting reform in September 2009
. Wind siting reform was a hard-won fight for Clean Wisconsin. Introduced in the 2006-2008 legislative session, it became bogged down in political squabbles and died on the Assembly floor in the final days of the session in April 2008. Undeterred, Clean Wisconsin came back in 2009 with greater support, a stronger coalition of partners and allies, and a smarter campaign. Passed with strong bipartisan support, it could not have been done without the help of our members and partners.