STATUS: Prolonged Delay
OPPOSITION: Wisconsin Independent Citizens Opposing Windturbine Sites
BACKGROUND: Manitowoc County granted Emerging Energies LLP a permit in July 2006 to erect seven wind turbines in the town of Mishicot. In response, the project was beset with legal challenges from concerned residents. In August 2006, five residents affiliated with the citizens group Wisconsin Independent Citizens Opposing Windturbine Sites (WindCOWS) filed suit against the county's Board of Adjustment for approving the project. WindCOWS voiced several concerns relating to wind farms, including ice fling from blades, shadow flicker, noise, groundwater contamination from manure, fire hazard, broken radio communications and the distance from existing structures. April 2007, opponents won a favorable ruling to void the conditional-use permit the county had granted under its original ordinance.
Progress on the project since then has been slowed by a countywide moratorium on wind development and the subsequent adoption of one of the most restrictive wind ordinances in Wisconsin, which requires a minimum setback requirement of 1,000 feet from a turbine to a property line. Emerging Energies filed suit in May 2007, claiming that the ordinance violates state law and makes the company's proposed project "cost-prohibitive." In April 2008, the judge dismissed the case stating, “the company would have to apply for a conditional-use permit under the most recently amended ordinance before the court could determine if the ordinance's restrictions violate state law.” The developer appealed the decision, which was affirmed by Court of Appeals in March 2009.
As of November 2010, Emerging Energies had yet to secure a permit for the project.
SOURCES: Business Publications: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn5302/is_20061128/ai_n24423583/;
Renew Wisconsin Media Center: http://renewmediacenter.blogspot.com/2009/01/manitowoc-county-says-no-can-do-to.html;
Heralds Reporter: http://coalicionventanasverraco.org/node/765;
Wisconsin Court of Appeals Docket: http://www.wisbar.org/res/capp/2009/2008ap001508.htm ; Market Place Magazine: http://www.marketplacemagazine.com/content/357_1.php;
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin: http://psc.wi.gov/apps35/ERF_view/viewdoc.aspx?docid=141594
Last updated December 6, 2010