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Proposed wind turbine rules to go to Legislature next week

Uniform standards for the placement and operation of wind turbines were sent on Monday by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to the Legislature for action.

The rule will govern how municipalities can establish setbacks for turbines, noise and shadow flicker standards and the involvement of neighboring property owners in the decision making process.

Teresa Wiedermann-Smith, a spokeswoman for the PSC, said the legislature, which reconvenes Sept. 1, is expected to review, modify and act on the rule.

“Establishing clear and consistent siting standards is critical to removing the confusion that currently surrounds non-utility wind projects in Wisconsin,” said Eric Callisto, the PSC chairman.


According to Wiedermann-Smith, the proposed rules include the following provisions:

• Landowners within a mile of a wind turbine site must be notified that an application is being sought.
Noise cannot exceed 45 decibels at night and 50 decibels during the day.

• If a turbine causes more than 20 hours of shadow flicker, the owner can be required to mitigate the problem. A maximum of 30 hours of flicker shadow is allowed.

• A minimum setback of 1.1 times the blade tip height is required. In some cases the setback can be 3.1 times the blade tip height.

• Local government can require wind energy system owners to pay landowners within a half-mile of the turbine site but the payments cannot exceed 25 percent of the payment to the landowner hosting the turbine.

• Establishes a process to resolve complaints.

A full copy of the rule is expected to be available Tuesday.


  1. It is sad that that we once considered “public service commission” to be in place to protect the public only grants rate increases to utility companies and keeps the wind industry unregulated and does absolutely nothing to protect the citizens of Wisconsin. This is how our “green” crazed, non caring government grows.

  2. It has been true for some time that the PSC no longer serves the public. They have become a body of self-serving special interest puppets. When you look at the docket for the wind citing rules there are pages and pages of creditable research information from around the world that the PSC clearly has not read or chooses to ignore.

    They choose to ignore guidlines encouraged by the World Health Organisation, French Accdmy of Science, & expert alumni from leading institutions such as; Yale, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, Columbia university, Rutgers, and info published by; the Journal of Sound & Vibration, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, and the American Journal of Otolarynbology just to name a few.

    No need to do the research yourself, just read what has already been provided & you see the PSC is doing this state a great dis-service.

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