Senator Scott Fitzgerald Votes to Order Statewide Standards for New Wind Turbines

A majority of senators voted yesterday to order statewide standards for locating new high-tech wind energy turbines. The vote was 23-to-9 to let utility-regulators on the Public Service Commission fill in the details. State senator Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau voted with the majority. Right now, the state regulates only those farms which produce at least 100-megawatts of power. The new bill would regulate all wind turbines. Those favoring the bill said statewide standards are needed because local communities have gotten too restrictive. And it’s hurting Wisconsin’s windmill industry and the state’s effort to produce 10-percent of its power from renewable sources by 2015. But the bill’s opponents say it’s the local leaders who know how wind-farm proposals could hurt their neighbors – and the state has no business putting its nose in. The measure now goes to the Assembly for a final vote today (Wednesday).