Public hearing set on Columbia County wind-farm proposal

Posted on October 6, 2009. Filed under: Wind |


From an article by Judy Newman in the Wisconsin State Journal:

A 90-turbine wind farm proposed for northeast Columbia County, in Scott and Randolph townships, would have little impact on wetlands or birds but neighbors may not like the way the structures stand out against the rolling hills, according to the final environmental impact statement on the project.

The report, totaling more than 200 pages, was prepared by state Public Service Commission and Department of Natural Resources staff. It does not make any recommendations, and it will be the subject of a public hearing at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Randolph Town Hall in Friesland.

Tim Vanderhei, a farmer in Randolph township, said some of his neighbors don’t want the turbines erected but he supports the project, which would site two turbines on his property.

“There is no doubt in my mind they will change the landscape. But the minute you build a house on these hills, that changes the landscape,” Vanderhei said.

We Energies, Milwaukee, is proposing the project, which would cost between $335 million and $413 million. While utility officials have not had a chance to review the entire environmental statement, they are still upbeat about its prospects, spokesman Brian Manthey said.

“We continue to move forward,” he said. “We are encouraged about getting a positive result when the PSC decides (on the request); right now, that appears to be in January.”

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