We Energies plans Columbia County wind farm

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

From a description of the project on the We Energies Web site:

The proposed Glacier Hills Wind Park is located in the towns of Randolph and Scott in Columbia County.

Project Size
The wind project is being designed to accommodate up to 90 wind turbines and is expected to generate between 100 and 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity. The final size and capacity of the project will depend on permit requirements, the turbine model installed and the configuration of the turbines. The project is anticipated to produce enough energy to power between 30,000 and 45,000 homes annually.

The Need
We are pursuing additional wind energy to meet customer demand and the state of Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. Our customers are demanding more renewable energy through our Energy for Tomorrow program, which allows customers – residential, commercial and industrial – to purchase all or a portion of their energy from renewable sources.

Additionally, the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard requires Wisconsin utilities to generate 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. Currently, We Energies’ supply portfolio includes approximately 3 percent from renewable energy.

Approvals and Timeline
As a regulated utility, We Energies is required to obtain authorization from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to construct the project. We expect to file the necessary applications for regulatory permits later this year.

In addition, we work with the local communities and numerous other agencies including: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Federal Aviation adinistration, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Federation, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Wisconsin State Historical Society and National Heritage Inventory.

Construction is anticipated to be completed within one year from the start of activities. Approximately six months will be needed for site preparation and the installation of turbine foundations and cabling. An additional six months is needed for turbine erection. If permitting moves along as expected, construction is anticipated to begin in late 2009 or 2010 with operation in 2011.