FPL Energy educates local residents in Wisconsin

FPL Energy has decided to temporarily withdraw its permit application for a 30 MW wind farm near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to the company's Steve Dryden. The decision comes after around 500 citizens turned up at an information meeting to object to the proposal. The size of the crowd was a surprise to Dryden. "I was expecting a good crowd, maybe 200 people," he says. "I didn't expect people from other towns, from six or eight miles away." The meeting was cancelled due to overcrowding (Windpower Monthly, November 1999). Since then Dryden has been getting together with local residents before the next public meeting, set for mid-December. "I saw there were too many people with the wrong information," Dryden says. "It's clear the information wasn't getting out to people in other nearby towns." He says he is not giving up. "I'm not frustrated," he comments. "I'm actually very encouraged." Many people have come in from the housing subdivision near the site, adds Dryden. "They come to a conclusion that it's a pretty minimal impact. There's a point where they see the benefits outweigh the personal impacts. They know they're the same people consuming the energy."