PSC denies application for wind farm in western Wisconsin - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

PSC denies application for wind farm in western Wisconsin

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Madison (WQOW) - Plans for a wind farm in western Wisconsin could be left blowing in the wind.

On Thursday, the Public Service Commission voted to deny an application for a wind farm in St. Croix County.  In December of 2011, Highland Wind Farm applied for a permit to build 44 wind turbines in the towns of Forest and Cylon.  The turbines would help generate more than 100 megawatts of power.  The commission was concerned about noise and wasn't sure if the proposal met standards.  Highland Wind Farm will be able to reapply if additional information is included on the application.

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding this project.  After the project was approved by the Forest Town Board, several members were recalled.  The new board then rejected the proposal.  Following that, the developer increased the scope of the project, pushing it over 100 megawatts.  That change required project approval from the PSC and not the town board.

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MADISON (Press Release) - Today the members of the Public Service Commission decided, on a 2-1 vote, to deny an application of Highland Wind Farm, LLC, for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to construct a 102.5 Megawatt (MW) Wind Electric Facility in the Towns of Forest and Cylon in St. Croix County.
 
The majority commissioners determined a clearer record and a better demonstration that noise from the wind turbines would not exceed Commission standards was needed before making a decision to grant a CPCN. Highland Wind Farm, LLC, will be able to reapply to the Commission if an improvement to modeling and additional information is presented in a subsequent application.
 
Background Information on the Application
 
In December of 2011, Highland Wind Farm, LLC, filed an application with the Commission for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) to construct a new wind electric generation facility. The project would have included the construction of up to 44 wind turbines, with an electric generating capacity of up to 102.5 megawatts.
 
Since the application was received, the Commission granted requests to intervene in the proceeding to Clean Wisconsin, Forest Voice, Inc., RENEW Wisconsin, and the Town of Forest, and granted intervenor compensation requests to Clean Wisconsin and Forest Voice. The Commission held multiple technical hearings in Madison; held public hearings in the project area, and accepted expert and public comments online and via U.S. mail. All documents, testimony, and comments submitted in the proceeding are available to the public at the PSC web site and by entering docket number 2535-CE-100 in the Electronic Regulatory Filing System.
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