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Wisconsin

Wisconsin

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Wind Siting Rules and Model Small Wind Ordinance   

Last DSIRE Review: 10/13/2014
Program Overview:
State: Wisconsin
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Permitting Standards
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Wind
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, General Public/Consumer, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, State Government
Web Site: http://psc.wi.gov/renewables/WindSitingRules.htm
Authority 1:
Date Effective:
Wis. Stat. ยง 66.0401 et seq.
1982 (wind added in 1993)
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
PSC 128
3/16/2012
3/16/2012
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
2009 Wisconsin Act 40
9/30/2009
Summary:

Permitting Rules

In September 2009, the Governor of Wisconsin signed S.B. 185 (Act 40) directing the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) to establish statewide wind energy siting rules. PSC Docket 1-AC-231 was created to conduct the rulemaking, requiring the PSC to convene an advisory council composed of various interested stakeholders (e.g. developers, political subdivisions, environmental groups, landowners, etc.). In December 2010, the Commission adopted the wind siting rules (PSC 128). The rules were scheduled to take effect on March 1, 2011, but on that date, the Joint Committee for the Review of Administrative Rules voted to suspend the rules. The legislature proposed several changes to the rule, but could not enact a replacement, and the PSC 128 wind siting rules became effective in March 2012.  The rules are comprehensive and include notice requirements, siting and noise criteria, shadow flicker, stray voltage, construction, operation, and decommissioning. Separate rules apply to small wind systems with a collective capacity of 300 kW or less or an individual wind turbine with a capacity of 100 kW or less.

The rules apply to political subdivisions (city, town, village, county) regulation of wind energy systems up to 100 MW in size. Political subdivisions can choose whether or not to regulate wind energy systems; if they choose to regulate, they may not do so in a way that is more restricitive than the PSC's rules. Wind energy systems 100 MW in size or greater are under the siting jurisdiction of the PSC, and are not directly subject to these rules.

Large Wind Systems

Rules for systems of larger than 300 kW or individual turbines larger than 100 kW include the following:

  • An owner must provide written notice of a planned wind system to specific parties at least 90 days before filing an application.
  • Systems must be set back 1.1 times the maximum blade tip height. Systems near occupied community buildings or nonparticipating residences must be set back either 1,250 feet or 3.1 times the maximum blade tip height, whichever is less.
  • Systems should be operated so that noise does not exceed 50 dBA during daytime hours or 45 dBA during nighttime hours.

Small Wind Systems

Rules for systems of 300 kW or less, or individual systems 100 kW or less, include the following:

  • An owner must provide written notice of a planned system wind system to specific parties at least 60 days before filing an application.
  • Systems must be set back the distance of the maximum blade tip height.
  • Systems should be operated so that noise does not exceed 50 dBA during daytime hours or 45 dBA during nighttime hours.

Model Ordinance

In order to assist counties, towns, and municipalities in interpreting Wisconsin's wind access laws, chiefly Wis. Stat. § 66.0401, the state of Wisconsin developed a Model Small Wind Ordinance which suggests appropriate zoning language for wind energy systems of 100 kilowatts (kW) or less. In the model, small wind systems are treated as a permitted use. The document includes specific language on details such as setbacks from public roads, dwellings, and property lines which can be considered directly relevant to preserving public health and safety. Note, the Model Ordinance was developed in 2006, prior to the establishment of statewide wind siting rules and does not reflect the requirements of the current siting rules.


 
Contact:
  Deborah Erwin
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
610 North Whitney Way, P.O. Box 7854
Madison, WI 53707-7854
Phone: (608) 266-3905
Fax: (608) 266-3957
E-Mail: Deborah.Erwin@wisconsin.gov
Web Site: http://psc.wi.gov/
 
  Scott Cullen
Stray Voltage Testing Protocol
Phone: (608) 267-9229
E-Mail: scot.cullen@wisconsin.gov
 
  Marilyn Weiss
Local Wind Application Filing Requirements
Phone: (608) 266-1613
E-Mail: marilyn.weiss@wisconsin.gov
 
  Jim Lepinski
Noise Measurement Protocol
Phone: (608) 267-9229
E-Mail: jim.lepinski@wisconsin.gov
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.