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.