Supporting wind energy development
Wind is one of the most reliable energy sources available, and we can use it to reduce our dependence on dirty coal, create a new source of revenue for our farmers and boost demand for wind turbine manufacturers in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, wind developers passed over Wisconsin for many years due to the stringent, inconsistent patchwork of local wind farm rules.
Over the last several years, Clean Wisconsin has worked diligently with other stakeholders to forge a better path for wind developers so our state can take advantage of wind energy. In 2009, we secured an enormous victory when the state Legislature enacted wind-siting reform with Act 40, replacing Wisconsin’s chaotic system of rules with uniform standards set by the Public Service Commission. Following the passage of Act 40, Clean Wisconsin was appointed to the Wind Siting Advisory Council, where we worked with an array of interests to develop recommendations for new wind-siting rules. The Public Service Commission used these findings as they developed final regulations for Wisconsin wind farms.
When the state Legislature voted to suspend these rules in 2011, Clean Wisconsin joined the ranks of clean energy advocates across the state to ensure the rules were reinstated in 2012. In 2013, Clean Wisconsin won another major victory in the approval of the Highland Wind project. The project was the first approved by the Public Service Commission under the regulations set forth by Act 40. The Highland Wind project, nestled in St. Croix County, will power 29,000 homes and create 100 jobs in Wisconsin.
Clean Wisconsin is also working with partners in the utility industry to help them plan, prepare, and meet the rising customer demand for clean, renewable energy such as wind and solar. In 2014 Clean Wisconsin, Madison Gas and Electric (MGE), and the Citizens Utility Board formed a Technical Working Group to examine rate design issues in a focused, deliberative fashion.