Midwest Wind suspends project development in Wisconsin
March 30, 2011
Midwest Wind Energy
In view of continued regulatory uncertainty in the State of Wisconsin, a leading wind farm developer has announced that it has suspended development activity until a more predictable climate is restored. Chicago-based Midwest Wind Energy, LLC (MWE) has been developing utility scale wind farms in Wisconsin since 2003 and has two of its developed projects operating; one a 54-megawatt project in Dodge County and the other a 67-megawatt project in Fond du Lac
County. MWE is also developing a 98-megawatt project in Calumet County and another project which had not yet been announced publicly.
According to MWE President, Stefan Noe, it no longer makes sense to invest significant development capital in a state that appears to be closed to the wind energy business. “Most states are clearly open for renewable energy development and the economic development dollars and jobs that come with it. So long as there are states rolling out the welcome mat it doesn’t make sense to devote significant dollars to a state that is creating unreasonable roadblocks for wind development.”
Noe cites the recent suspension of PSC 128 by the Wisconsin Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules as the most convincing evidence that Wisconsin is not interested in working in good faith with the U.S. wind energy industry. The rule was the culmination of almost two years of work by the Public Service Commission and resulted in some of the most stringent and detailed wind siting rules in the country. Although restrictive, these rules created a workable
compromise between the wind industry and a range of stakeholders.
“Our four projects alone represent more than $600 million of capital investment in Wisconsin and more than 400 construction jobs and 40 permanent high-tech jobs. The industry as a whole has the potential to be a multi-bill ion dollar industry for the state. These projects also generate millions in local landowner payments and local government revenues, cash flow that is sorely needed in Wisconsin’s rural communities.” Noe said.
Midwest Wind Energy, LLC is a leading developer of utility-scale wind farms in the Midwest and Great Plains with seven projects totaling 649 megawatts currently in operation. MWE has an additional 5000 megawatts of projects in its development pipeline.