ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Wind power could come from other states

Madison - Prospective wind energy developers have been big cheerleaders for a plan that would require 25-percent of Wisconsin's energy to come from renewable sources by 2025. But a big piece of that energy could come from out-of-state.

Madison - Prospective wind energy developers have been big cheerleaders for a plan that would require 25-percent of Wisconsin's energy to come from renewable sources by 2025. But a big piece of that energy could come from out-of-state.

Brian Antonich works for Houston-based Horizon Wind Energy, which runs 25 wind farms throughout the country. He says Horizon has been working on a prospective wind farm in LaFayette County since 2003 and has pitched the idea to local utilities five to six times now. So far, he says Horizon hasn't had any luck. Antonich says one of the explanations they get is that utilities "don't have any requirement to buy renewables."

That's because while Wisconsin already mandates that a certain percentage of its energy come from renewable, many utilities are already very close to that benchmark. That's why Horizon and other prospective developers support a plan that would set a 25-percent renewable benchmark.

Tom Greene with the Wind Capital Group told a panel of Assembly lawmakers that it would create hundreds of jobs in Wisconsin engineering, constructing and maintaining wind farms. But as it stands now, only 10-percent of the state's new renewable energy would have to come from in-state sources. Lawmakers asked Greene whether that could mean Wisconsin would be buying most of its renewable energy from states like Iowa where the wind is much stronger. Greene responded, "that would be true if there were that transmission available. But there isn't."

Without those better transmission lines connecting Wisconsin to western states, Greene says Wisconsin's best option is to build wind close to home.

What To Read Next
Get Local

ADVERTISEMENT