Large Wisconsin Wind Farm Killed By Politics

Invenergy had been planning to build a large capacity wind farm in Wisconsin, but now that is dead after the company pulled out of the development of the proposed Ledge Wind Energy project. The reason? The desire of the Wisconsin governor and state legislature members to suspend a rule around how wind farms are permitted.

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, according to Solve Climate News, had proposed suspending previously passed rules by the state Public Service Commission that would reportedly balance the needs of wind farm placement with that of property owners’ concerns over issues around items like property values and noise. Walker’s decision, much like when he objected to federal funding for high speed rail in his state, put him at odds with many in Wisconsin, though the GOP controlled state legislature was apparently quite happy to oblige him.

wind power

image via Iberdrola Renewables

Invenergy, in a letter to the Wisconsin Public State Commission, withdrew its application for the project after the previously passed rules were suspended. It stated that “after careful review of the continuing uncertainty generation by the current legislative and regulatory climate, and after intensive evaluation of the resulting investment considerations, Invenergy has determined that it will no longer pursue development of the Ledge Wind Energy Center…with the recent suspension of Chapter PSC 128 and the unpredictability of the course of the ensuing legislative and administrative process, Invenergy cannot justify continuing to make significant investments regarding the Ledge Wind Energy Center while substantial uncertainty persists regarding relevant project regulations.”

Also, again according to Solve Climate News, while Invenergy will consider doing “less risky” wind projects in Wisconsin, it would be looking for the time being to do more wind energy development in states that “offer more regulatory certainty.”

Clean Wisconsin, a state level environmental group, was quite disappointed in the resulting action, noting that “Governor Walker’s war on wind energy is killing good Wisconsin jobs” and that “eighty percent of Wisconsin residents support wind energy, yet the Governor and Republican legislative leaders seem determined to keep wind farms from being built in our state.”

There’s a lot more to this story being talked about over at Solve Climate News, so make sure to check out their full coverage on this breaking issue.

We hope you are enjoying the green technology news and insight provided by our dedicated editorial staff. If you do, please take a moment to help us spread the word by voting for us as Best Environmental Sci-Tech blog in the annual Best of Green 2011 TreeHugger awards. Voting ends on April 1, 2011. Thank you!

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.

    • Matt

      it’s not worth saying anything “Cash talks the unemployed walk”

    • Mark Sleger

      That puts wind intiative back where it belongs, in the hands of the citizens. Maybe it frees up more investment and grant money for individual modest sized projects rather than the corporate dominated monstrosities. I bet the governor never thought of that. If he finds out the backlash benefits little people he will turn that decision around in a hurry.

    • Anonymous

      Another cretin “win” luddites need a party too. The Right wing dips lower still.. How many companies have boycotted Arizonastan. The Republican Party where the past catches up with the passed.