Many people who don’t want a new wind farm in St. Croix County turned out to tell that to the Public Service Commission Thursday. It’s a proposal that has already resulted in the election of a new town board.
Around 80 people crammed into the tiny Forest Town Hall for a public hearing on the Highland Wind Farm Project put forward by Wisconsin wind developer Emerging Energies. If approved by the PSC, 41 wind turbines nearly 500 feet tall would be placed in and around the small town. Brenda Salseg heads the wind farm opposition group Forest Voice and was one of the first to give comment to the PSC, “Wind energy of this size and scope is not wanted in our community. Industrial Wind is not free, clean and green when it takes the property rights and freedoms of non-participating land owners.”
Although much of the public comment was anti wind farm supporters also made their pitch. Dawn Cress says she’ll also be surrounded by turbines but welcomes the economic benefit, “The proposed Highland Wind Farm here in the Town of Forest gives our community and county added revenue and job stimulus. Wisconsin has no oil or coal or gas deposits but we do have adequate wind.”
The project has been so controversial that it led to the recall the entire Forest town board. The Public Service Commission says it’ll likely come to a decision on the project by spring of 2013.