State Roundup: Wisconsin Unfriendly to Wind, Solar in Colorado, CFLs in South Carolina

Two wind developers have backed away from projects in Wisconsin, after the Republican state legislature erased years of work on siting regulations earlier this month

Multiple stakeholders in Wisconsin worked to develop uniform siting regulations that would bring consistency to the siting process across the state. A Wisconsin wind siting bill passed the state legislature with strong bipartisan support in 2009, and the rules were finalized by the PSC this past December.

But early this month, after Governor Scott Walker (R) came out against the regulations, a joint committee of the Wisconsin state legislature voted to roll them back.

Invenergy was the first developer to go, requesting that the Public Service Commission terminate its application. "With the recent suspension of [PSC 128, the siting rules] and the unpredictability of the course of the ensuing legislative and administrative process, Invenergy cannot justify continuing to make significant investments regarding the Ledge Wind Energy Center while substantial uncertainty persists regarding relevant project regulations," the company said in a letter to the Commission.

Then  Midwest Wind Energy said on Wednesday it is suspending plans for a 75 turbine wind farm in the state–a project that has been in the works for four years.

According to Fox11 News in Wisconsin: "The company says with regulations in Wisconsin being in flux, it is going to devote resources to other states it believes are friendlier toward wind energy."

Unfriendly Solar Permitting in Colorado

The average fee for Colorado solar permitting is nearly twice as high and seven times longer than national permitting best practices, according to a new report. 

The Vote Solar Initiative and the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA) released the report and urged Colorado to adopt the standardized, streamlined solar permitting practices contained in the Fair Permit Act of 2011 (H.B.10) and to keep working to simplify permitting processes to drive down costs for consumers.

The report found that permit fees for an average-sized residential solar system can cost $2,000 and take as many as 20 business days. The average cost of a solar permit in Colorado is $495, compared to a best practice fee of $250 or lower.

"With a clear policy commitment to renewables in place, Colorado has become one of the nation’s most promising solar markets," says Gwen Rose, deputy director of Vote Solar and lead author of the report. "However, the state has an inefficient permitting landscape that directly undermines its renewable energy and economic development goals.

South Carolina Wants to Keep Incandescents

Legislators in South Carolina want to exempt the state from federal regulations calling for the phase out of inefficient incandescent light bulbs.

Regulations, created under the Bush administration, call for a phase-out of the bulbs beginning in 2012. 

But some of the state’s Republican legislators say the federal government is quashing their states rights (to waste as much electricity as they want).

The South Carolina House is expected to begin debating the Incandescent Light Bulb Freedom Act next week. 

Read more:

Website: [sorry this link is no longer available]     
(Visited 4,989 times, 5 visits today)

Post Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *