PSC: Approves construction of Glacier Hills Wind Farm

Contact:  Timothy Le Monds or Teresa Smith, (608) 266-9600

MADISON – In an oral decision today, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) approved Wisconsin Electric Power Company’s (WEPCO) request to construct a new wind electric generation facility in Columbia County, capable of producing up to 207 megawatts (MW) at a cost between $335 million and $435 million.

In 2008, WEPCO filed an application with the PSC for permission to build the Glacier Hills Wind Park in the towns of Randolph and Scott in the northeast part of Columbia County to help meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirements. Wisconsin law requires the state to produce 10 percent of its electric energy from renewable sources by 2015.  Depending on the type of wind turbine selected, each of the 90 Glacier Hill units will have an electric generating capacity between 1.5 MW and 2.3 MW.

“When built, Glacier Hills will be the largest wind farm in Wisconsin,” said Chairperson Eric Callisto. “Today’s action will not only provide the state with a  facility that will increase the capacity of  generation from wind by 30 to 46 percent, but also will allow the utility to provide needed renewable and low-carbon energy to meet future RPS requirements.”

“When we take applications up like this, we ask some individuals, businesses and families to take on more burden than others and it’s humbling when considering the individual sacrifice in cases like this,” said Commissioner Mark Meyer.  “Yet, it is our obligation to make decisions when appropriate in order to provide reliable service and provide the kind of service that state law requires.”

“The renewable generation approved today not only aids in compliance with current law, but will also aid in Wisconsin’s compliance with pending carbon emission limitations,” said Commissioner Lauren Azar. 

The PSC solicited comments from the public in May 2009 and held hearings on the project in November.  The testimony provided at the hearings and comments submitted by the public were part of the record the Commission reviewed as it considered all the aspects of the application.

Construction on the Glacier Hills Wind Park is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2010 with projected completion late 2011. Documents associated with WEPCO’s applications can be viewed on our Electronic Regulatory Filing System at  Enter case number 6630-CE-302 in the boxes provided on the PSC homepage, or click on the Electronic Regulatory Filing System button.