Wisconsin PSC seeks comment on Highland Wind Farm arguments

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission is taking comment until Sept. 20 on a Second Supplemental Briefing Memorandum related to the 102.5-MW Highland Wind Farm LLC project in the towns of Forest and Cylon in St. Croix County, Wisc.

The Second Supplemental Briefing Memorandum addresses the commission’s reopened proceeding in this docket, and summarizes the current status of the docket issues from the initial proceeding. The commission rejected this project on March 15 over turbine noise concerns, but the company on April 4 asked for the case to be reopened so it could offer new evidence on how the turbines will meet state noise standards.

The commission held technical and public hearing sessions in Madison on Aug. 14 and 15. During the technical sessions, expert witnesses offered testimony and exhibits on behalf of Highland, Forest Voice and the town of Forest. Initial briefs in opposition to the project were filed by Forest Voice and the town of Forest. Highland filed an initial brief in support of the project.

To comply with the 45 dBA nighttime noise limit included in state coder and the 40 dBA noise limit at the six sensitive residences, Highland’s proposed plan consists of:

  • Computer modeling to determine which turbines are required to be operated in reduced noise operating modes in order to meet the noise requirements.
  • Minimizing the amount of lost energy production from reduced noise operation by adjusting the levels of reduction based on wind direction and non-participating residence locations in relation to the wind turbines requiring curtailment. This analysis is referred to as the “directivity” analysis throughout the record in the reopened proceeding.
  • Programming the turbines based on available reduced operating modes for each turbine model alternative and the directivity analysis. Throughout the reopened proceeding, this proposed programming strategy is referred to as “sector cutout function,” “sector management capabilities,” or “sector cutout management.”
  • Verification of compliance with applicable noise limits by post-construction noise monitoring.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.