The Supreme Court of Wisconsin has upheld the state's rules for siting wind turbines and ruled against a lawsuit from state housing groups claiming the state had to release a housing impact report.
The plaintiffs – which include the Wisconsin Realtors Association and the Wisconsin Builders AssociationÂ – were claiming that wind turbines adversely affect property values. As such, the associations believed that the state's Department of Commerce should have studied wind's impact on housing values. However, in a 5-2 decision, the court said the rule, which includes setback requirements from residences, does not ‘directly or substantially’ affect housing.
‘The Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruling is a step in the right direction for Wisconsin,’ explains Chris Kunkle, regional policy manager for Wind on the Wires, a regional partner of the American Wind Energy Council. ‘It brings some level of certainty and regulatory stability for the wind industry, but it's not a silver bullet for further development’
In order for wind to prosper in Wisconsin, a state that has no wind energy projects in activeÂ development, it needs to implement a plan for complying with the Clean Power Plan that includes a robust amount of renewables.
"That's the type of signal developers are looking for in order to return to Wisconsin,’ Kunkle notes.