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State regulators still nix wind farm in eastern St. Croix County

MADISON - State utility regulators still say "no" to a proposed wind-energy farm in far western Wisconsin. The Public Service Commission said today it would not re-consider its rejection of a construction permit for the Highland Wind Farm in Saint Croix County.

The panel voted 2-1 against an emergency request filed this week by the project's developer, Emerging Energies of Hubertus. The commission first said "no" to the project in mid-February, saying the wind turbines would exceed state noise limits and cause problems for residents of several nearby homes. The company then said it could program the turbines to reduce their power when wind speeds cause the noise limits to be exceeded.

Today, Commissioner Eric Callisto said he could support the new wind farm on those conditions. But Commissioner Ellen Nowak said the appeal came before the panel could issue a written confirmation of its February 14th decision - and appeals normally wait until after those written decisions come out. She and commission chairman Phil Montgomery voted against the wind farm permit today.