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State proposes new wind farm regulations (VIDEO)

Homes sit near a wind turbine at the Butler Ridge Wind Energy Project in Dodge County. Gov. Scott Walker has released a bill that will increase setback distances in the state. (Staff photo by Joe Yovino)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Scott Walker has released a bill that would dramatically increase property setback requirements for wind turbines.

Currently, turbines must be built at least 1,250 feet from nearby homes. Under the bill, they would have to be built at least 1,800 feet away.

A coalition of wind developers sent a letter to Walker on Tuesday saying Wisconsin’s regulations are strict enough and the new setback requirements would leave many potential wind sites useless.


Bill Rakocy is a partner in Emerging Energies of Wisconsin. He told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper his new wind farm in Brown County would have only one turbine instead of eight if the new setback were imposed.

Walker’s spokesman told the paper the governor wants to protect private property owners’ rights.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  1. Good Call. Set backs are a reasonable thing. I’m in the wind turbine business. The things that delay the building of wind turbines is not this type of thing, it’s the “too-big” left wing government and their environmentalist contributors that come up with phony roadblocks to their construction. The schizo green extremist groups can’t make up their minds. Do you want wind turbine energy or not. It’s like a dog chasing their own tail. Wind by the way, is not the answer, it may be part of the equation……and I earn a living in the wind business. Notice, there’s no hypocrisy here? We need honest debate. here it is.

  2. Dean Albert — you may or may not be in the wind turbine business, but if you are, then you will recognize that the consensus-driven process that culminated last year in Wisconsin rules to eastblish 1,250 foot setbacks was a reasonable and common-sense driven compromise between a wide variety of interests at establishing fair rules in the state of Wisconsin for the placement of wind turbines.

    The proposed bill from Governor Walker is not only unjustified and punitive, but it derives the 1800 foot setback requirement out of thin air, not based on any science or consideration for what works in other states. It is an attempt to kill the wind energy industry in Wisconsin. If the proposed bill is enacted, we will see no new wind projects developed in the state, period. And along with the loss of projects, so will the jobs associated with the wind energy industry disappear, too. Governor Walker is essentially proposed to close the state to business. He claims to be a proponent of job creation in the state — so why is he proposed wit this bill to chase jobs out of Wiscvonsin to neighboring states ?

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