Wind siting bill signed into law

October 30, 2009

By Jeff Plale, 7th District State Senator

On Sept. 30, Governor Doyle signed a bill I authored, Senate Bill 185, into law. Now known as 2009 Wisconsin Act 40, this bill creates uniformity standards for wind energy projects across the state. Until now, Wisconsin has had a patchwork of wind siting regulations that varied widely from one municipality to another. The creation of consistent siting standards is an important step for the advancement of renewable energy in Wisconsin.

Across the country, there is increasing support and demand for the expansion of green energy and the creation of green jobs. Currently, over 600 megawatts of proposed wind projects are stalled in Wisconsin due to the absence of clear, predictable regulations. This figure does not include potential projects that have not been pursued by developers at all. Lack of clear regulations has killed jobs and drained investment from our state. Act 40 makes Wisconsin a more viable option for the placement of wind farms so that we may take advantage of new investment opportunities. 

Currently, over 600 megawatts of proposed wind projects are stalled in Wisconsin due to the absence of clear, predictable regulations. This figure does not include potential projects that have not been pursued by developers at all.

Under 2005 Act 141, Wisconsin electric providers must produce 10 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2015. This goal is unattainable without wind energy. There are no practical remaining options for dams and Wisconsin is not a good candidate for solar power. Without the uniformity provided by Act 40, we would face great difficulty in developing enough wind power to meet Wisconsin’s renewable energy goals.

I am appreciative of all of the hard work and pragmatism of my colleagues who worked on this legislation. Throughout the legislative process, members of both houses reached across party lines to get this bill done. As you may know, I introduced similar legislation in 2008, but it did not pass that session. I am pleased with the wide margin of support this time around. The bill passed the Senate 23-9 and the Assembly 65-31.

Act 40 paves the road for the development of alternative energy projects in Wisconsin, and I am eager to watch our state take advantage of these new technologies and opportunities.

Jeff Plale is the state senator for Wisconsin’s Seventh Senate District, which spans from Milwaukee’s East Side to Oak Creek, including downtown, the Third Ward, Bay View, St. Francis, Cudahy, and South Milwaukee. He can be reached locally at (414) 744-1444 or in Madison at (800) 361-5487 or sen.plale@legis.wisconsin.gov.

image_pdfimage_printPrint
Copyright 2016 by Bay View Compass. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

Comment on this Bay View Compass item.