PSC puts Highland Wind Project on hold
The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) voted 2-1 to put the proposed Highland Wind Project in St. Croix County on hold, inviting the developer to reapply for a permit using different sound modeling.
"The PSC's decision demonstrates an abundance of caution that delays the application process, but does not kill this project," said Katie Nekola, attorney for Clean Wisconsin. "Clean Wisconsin continues to support this project that promises to bring clean, renewable energy and jobs to Northwest Wisconsin."
The PSC is requiring the applicant to provide additional evidence that the wind project will not exceed sound standards set by state law, according to a PSC press release issued.
Despite opponents' claims that low frequency sound from wind turbines causes adverse impacts, all three commissioners agreed there was no proof linking the two.
"Study after study has proven that wind farms are a clean, safe and economic way to produce energy," said Nekola.
The project would bring an estimated 100 jobs to St. Croix County and enough clean energy to power 29,000 homes.
A bipartisan poll conducted in January 2012 found that 85 percent of Wisconsin voters would like to increase the use of wind energy to meet Wisconsin's energy needs.
"Clean, renewable wind energy enjoys strong support from residents across the state and can help create thousands of jobs," said Nekola. "This decision is an unfortunate delay, but we look forward to working with Highland Wind to make this project a reality."