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ADDRESSING THE ISSUES Calumet County Board May 20, 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "ADDRESSING THE ISSUES Calumet County Board May 20, 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 ADDRESSING THE ISSUES Calumet County Board May 20, 2008

2 Project Coordinator for Midwest Wind Energy and Principal Coordinator for Stonybrook BS in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University Member American Institute of Certified Planners Professional Planner for 11 yrs City Planner and Zoning Official for City of Geneva, IL Tom Swierczewski, AICP

3 Midwest Wind Energy Leading Developer of Wind Power Projects in Midwest Leading Developer of Wind Power Projects in Midwest Current Project Development Portfolio > 1500 MWs Current Project Development Portfolio > 1500 MWs Developed Cedar Ridge (80 MW, Fond du Lac County) and Butler Ridge (54 MW, Dodge County)Developed Cedar Ridge (80 MW, Fond du Lac County) and Butler Ridge (54 MW, Dodge County) 530 MWs targeted for construction in MWs targeted for construction in 2008 Goal: 1500 MWs by 2010 Goal: 1500 MWs by 2010 Responsible for Responsible for Project Development “Concept to Construction”

4 Edison Mission Group Subsidiary of Edison International (NYSE – EIX) EIX - Assets totaling over $36 billion EMG is a Leading Independent Power Producer 9000 MWs Owned and Operated in the U.S. Leader in Renewable Energy Currently Owns/Operates 1055 MWs of Wind Power 5 th Largest Owner of Wind Power in the U.S.

5 Why Calumet County? Unique wind resource Proximity to transmission Land use compatibility Regulatory environment (before recent amendments)

6 Wisconsin’s Wind Resource Subject Site Calumet County is located in the heart of Wisconsin’s Best wind resource area

7 Town of Brothertown Zoning Ordinance Exempts Wind Energy Facilities from Town Zoning Defers siting authority to Calumet County Wind Energy Facility Ordinance Thus, Wind Energy Facilities are permitted in the Town of Brothertown with a County permit Town Zoning

8 Wind Turbines are PERMITTED in Calumet County subject to a siting permit per Chapter 79 of the County Code (“Wind Energy Facility Ordinance”) “Wind Energy Facilities are permitted in Calumet County provided the operation is in compliance with [the WEF Ordinance.] The ability of the applicant to create, enlarge or modify a Wind Energy Facility is not debatable….” WEF Ordinance has Strict Application Requirements and Regulations that Protect Public Health and Safety County Zoning

9 Section of Wisconsin Statutes. “No county, town, city or village may place any restriction on the installation of a wind energy system unless the restriction serves to preserve or protect the public health and safety.” State Statute ORD AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION III OF THE ZONING ORDINANCE REGARDING AGRICULTURAL DISTRICT WHEREAS, Wisconsin Statute Section provides limited authority for towns to regulate wind energy systems; and…

10 Wind turbines are legally permitted in Brothertown Wind turbines are legally permitted in Calumet County Wisconsin State Law strictly limits local governments’ ability to restrict wind turbines Fact: Landowners in Calumet County are legally entitled to install wind turbines with a County permit. Fact: Recently adopted regulations make developing utility scale wind farms impossible. Summary of Existing Regulations

11 October 2005 – August 2006 Calumet County adopts wind energy ordinance MWE Identified Proposed Project Area, Analyzed available wind data and transmission system Held Public Information Meeting Erected 2 met towers on site and initiated land acquisition Prepared Preliminary Turbine Layout Plan Filed Interconnection Request w/ATC Held on-site visits w/WDNR & USFWS Conducted Landowner Meetings Project timeline/history

12 August 2006 – January 2007 Wind energy opponents sought to amend County Ordinance to eliminate wind turbine development in Calumet County MWE Suspended Development Activities – took “wait and see” approach MWE attended County meetings and public hearings – submitted evidence and testimony Calumet County rejected opponents’ amendments and upheld current ordinance Opponents filed Federal lawsuit against County Project timeline/history

13 February 2007 – August 2007 MWE resumed development activities Avian Risk, Environmental Site and Geological Assessments Started to Finalize Turbine Layout Plan Met w/County Staff re: permit application requirements Opponents request Town of Stockbridge to restrict wind turbines Town of Stockbridge Imposes Moratorium Town of Stockbridge drafts new “license ordinance” MWE reconfigured project to locate all turbines in Brothertown Project timeline/history

14 August 2007 – Present Opponents initiate anti-wind energy campaign Opponents again seek amendments to County ordinance County will not consider amendments due to pending Federal lawsuit Opponents move to withdraw lawsuit Ad-Hoc Committee on wind is formed, trip to Crescent Ridge is taken, amendments adopted precluding wind development in Calumet County MWE suspends development activity and begins preparations for PSC submittal Project timeline/history

15 Groundwater Impacts Impact on Property Values Shadow Flicker Company Accountability (if something goes wrong) Benefits of Wind Energy Addressing the Issues

16 SBW understands the issue well: –Local bedrock is frequently fractured because of the area’s Karst geology –Excavation could expose existing fractures or crack the bedrock further allowing contaminants to enter the shallow aquifers –This is a real problem that applies to any excavation, including foundations for new homes. Groundwater Impacts

17 Pre-construction planning can avoid this problem SBW has mapped all visible Karst features including sink holes and cracks in the ground SBW has located turbines to avoid these areas SBW will obtain rock core samples at each turbine site to determine existing condition of the rock If the core indicates unsound subsurface rock then SBW will use construction techniques to minimize fractures: –Quick-setting cements and anchors to seal cracks –Avoid drilling, blasting or hammering on the bedrock These measures are currently being implemented in the Blue Sky/Green Field project Groundwater Impacts

18 Property Values Economic Impacts of Wind Power in Kittitas County, WA, prepared by EcoNorthwest, November Evaluated impact from 22 wind farms across the country

19 Renewable Energy Policy Project, May 2003 Analyzed over 25,000 records of property sales within 5 miles of 10 different wind farms using 3 methodologies Property Values

20 A Real Estate Study of the Proposed Forward Wind Energy Center, Dodge and Fond du Lac Counties, WI, by Polletti and Associates, May 20, 2005 for the PSC of Wisconsin Investigated property sales in the Town of Lincoln, Kewaunee County, WI and at Mendota Hills, Lee County, IL Property Values

21 Impact of Windmill Visibility on Property Values in Madison County, NY, Bard Center for Environmental Policy, 4/2006 Analyzed impact on 280 homes near a 20-turbine wind farm Property Values

22 Blade shadow flicker can be observed when: –Sun is visible near sunrise or sunset (24% sunny, 28% partly sunny) –Wind direction causes rotor to be parallel to observer. –Direct line of sight between observer, turbine and sun. No trees or other obstructions –Short duration event due to sun’s movement Rate of “flicker” is approximately 1/second 1000’ setbacks are more than adequate to mitigate effects of shadow flicker No known studies attributing shadow flicker from wind farms to health or safety issues Shadow Flicker

23 All beampaths have been mapped All turbines are located outside of beam paths Turbines are either in a beampath or they’re out. No need for further setback if they’re not in a beampath. Microwave Beampath Interference

24 Icing only occurs with an infrequent combination of temperature, humidity & low wind speed - May occur 1-4 times per year Turbines automatically shut down when ice forms due to blade imbalance Wet snow or ice sloughs off around the base of the turbine Setbacks are more than adequate to protect public safety With over 10,000 operating turbines in U.S. never a report of ice related injury Ice “Throws” (Ice Shedding)

25 Who do we call if something goes wrong? –On-site operation and maintenance center open 40 hours per week –24-hour emergency telephone number available for after- hours calls What if the company abandons the wind farm? –SBW provides financial security to guarantee decommissioning in the event of facility abandonment –Decommission guarantees are required by the County Ordinance –Decommission guarantees are also in all leases Company Accountability

26 Stony Brook would generate enough renewable energy to power ~30,000 Wisconsin homes Benefits of Wind Energy

27 Clean, safe, renewable No emissions or environmental impacts Reduce dependence on foreign oil Reduce dependence on nuclear, coal and other power sources Most economical of all renewable sources Benefits of Wind Energy

28 Harvesting the wind is good for farmers Offers additional means of farming income Preserves agricultural way of life Project Benefits

29 Where do we go from here? What would you like us to do? Next Steps

30 Q & A


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