Only five days after the dedication ceremony of two wind farms in Wisconsin, the local siting board in the town of Lincoln has passed a moratorium on the construction of new turbines for the next 18 months. The ordinance, passed on a 3-0 vote on July 6, calls for a study of "the impact of wind generation turbines on the land and on the residents of the community." The town will use the study to develop siting standards. Lincoln and its neighbouring town of Red River, both in Kewaunee County, host 20.5 MW of wind farms developed by Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Madison Gas and Electric (MG&E). All 14 of WPS' turbines are located in Lincoln, as are eight of MG&E's 17 turbines. In total, there are 31 Vestas 660 kW V-47 machines in the area. The utilities are working to meet the provisions of the State Reliability Act, which requires the four utilities in eastern Wisconsin to add a total of 50 MW of renewables. The utilities and local officials have held a number of public meetings to address concerns and educate the public about wind power. According to local resident and wind expert Mick Sagrillo, however, the real purpose of Lincoln's new ordinance is to delay development of new wind farms. "They hope the developers will all go away," Sagrillo says.
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Senior Renewable Energy Analyst (WindGEMINI Product Lead) DNV GL Bristol (City Centre), City of Bristol