PSC Approves Highland Wind Farm Project / Wisconsin Ag Connection

Seven months after saying no, the Public Service Commission has now given a nod of approval to the developers of a 100 megawatt wind farm in St. Croix County. The state regulators voted 2-1 in favor of a permit request for the proposed Highland Wind Farm.

In February, the PSC denied the project because of the possible noise problems that area residents were concerned about.

Commission Chairman Phil Montgomery and commissioner Eric Callisto both voted yes to the proposal on Thursday, with Ellen Nowak voting against it. But the panel said it would require the turbines to meet strict noise levels, especially at night, or risk losing its rights to operate.

The wind facility was first proposed in December 2011 by the Madison-based Emerging Energies of Wisconsin. At a cost of $250 million, the farm would include 44 wind turbines, with an electric generating capacity of up to 102.5 megawatts.

The farm will be built in the towns of Forest and Cylon, about an hour northwest of Eau Claire.

Source: Wisconsin Ag Connection

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Saint Croix County Wind Farm Tentatively Approved by PSC

The state Public Service Commission (PSC) has tentatively approved a wind turbine farm for Saint Croix County in western Wisconsin.

Commissioners voted 2-1 for the Highland Wind Project on Thursday, after rejecting it earlier this year. PSC legal counsel Cynthia Smith says the majority decided the wind farm would meet a state noise standard “that we believe is protective of human health and safety.”

Smith says that the applicant also agreed to meet “an even lower noise standard near certain homes.”

The PSC says the Saint Croix County wind farm will have between 30 and 44 turbines. There will be sound monitors to measure compliance with state law.

A citizens group has opposed the project, and says the PSC didn’t talk enough about health and safety concerns. The group is considering whether to appeal the decision. This is the first wind farm the PSC has approved in a few years, after a long debate over siting regulations.

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio

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