Electricity Consumers Sue Wisconsin PSC Regarding Wind Farm Approval

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The Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group (WIEG) and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) have filed a lawsuit against the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin for allegedly ignoring state law in approving a wind power project to be built in Minnesota, owned by Madison-based Wisconsin Power & Light Co. (WPL) and paid for by WPL's Wisconsin customers.

‘Electric rates have been rapidly rising, so we simply can't afford less stringent regulatory review of new energy projects,’ says WIEG executive director Todd Stuart. ‘The cost and need of energy infrastructure can't be ignored, especially right now, with the massive job losses in Wisconsin.’

In June 2008, WPL submitted an application to the PSC for approval to build and own the 200 MW Bent Tree Wind Farm in south central Minnesota at an estimated cost of $497 million.

In filing the lawsuit, WIEG and CUB contend that the PSC ignored Wisconsin law, which states that a utility cannot build a power plant of 100 MW or more unless the utility has received a certificate of public convenience and necessity.

The PSC, however, says it disagrees.

‘The commission disagrees with the allegations in the complaint and looks forward to defending itself in Circuit Court,’ says Tim Le Monds, director of governmental and public affairs at the PSC.

SOURCE: Citizens Utility Board

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