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Wind turbine proposal could halt many projects

A home in Dodge County sits near the Butler Ridge Wind Energy project. Gov. Scott Walker has proposed increasing the setback distances between homes and wind turbines. (File photo by Joe Yovino)

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Wind industry officials say if Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to toughen wind turbine requirements becomes reality it will be the toughest regulatory barrier in the country.

Currently, turbines must be built at least 1,250 feet from nearby homes. But under Walker’s plan, they would have to be built at least 1,800 feet away.

Michael Vickerman works at Renew Wisconsin, which has tracked the growth of the state’s renewable sector. He said a total of $1.8 billion in investment may be at stake if every state wind farm now in the planning stage is halted.

Denise Bode, of the American Wind Energy Association, said the requirement would put a “closed for business” sign on Wisconsin for wind development.

Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel his proposal would benefit property owners.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


  1. I know several people in Dodge and Fond du lac Counties who wish theses setback rules had existed 3-4 years ago.

  2. Thank you Dolan Media for reporting on industrial wind in MN. If it wasen’t for you and reporters like we would never have a chance to let the public know what is actually happening to people that are being run over by the public private partnership between big wind and big goverment. We have been lied to by the MN Office of Energy Security and we have been lied to by National Wind. The Rochester paper went so far as to rmove comments we made in order to control the flow of information. They are a big wind supporter rather than a neutral fact finder like.

    I’ll leave you with one example of National Wind’s effort to lie to the people of Goodhue County. In the October 14, 2009 Zumbrota News Record, Senior Wind Developer Chuck Burdick wrote that National Wind could prove LWECS do not contribute to stray voltage by taking a pre-construction baseline measurement and a post-construction measurement. On October 4, 2010 the Goodhue County Board passed an updated Ordinance which includes requirements for pre and post stray voltage testing for WECS (Section 6). December 30, 2010 National Wind’s equity partner AWA Goodhue asked Judge Sheehy to not considered this simple safety measure which is included in the Goodhue County Ordinance.

    One final point. There is a reason National Wind is not concerned with the long-term competitiveness of wind. Industrial wind turbines generate 30 to 40 percent of their revenue stream with subsidies. Despite this extravagant tax support, Xcel requested a 37.5% rate increase August 2, 2010. Minnesota has created a bubble that can not be sustained. Wholesale rates for Wind in Minnesota are 200-350% higher than for base load coal or nuclear.

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