MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin utility regulators acted properly when they agreed to let Wisconsin Power and Light build a new wind energy farm in southern Minnesota.
In a 5-2 ruling Wednesday, the State Supreme Court rejected claims that the Public Service Commission acted illegally in okaying the utility’s participation in a $450 million wind turbine project near Albert Lea Minnesota.
The Citizens Utility Board, which represents consumers, and the Wisconsin Industrial Energy Group took the matter to court. They said the PSC improperly approved the utility’s action a under a “certificate of authority,” instead of another certificate that would have required a more stringent review process.
The PSC said a full-blown certificate of review was not needed, because the wind farm itself is not in Wisconsin. The project is helping Power and Light meet its state-mandated requirements for producing renewable energy.
In a majority opinion, Justice Pat Roggensack said it was reasonable for the PSC to require its most stringent review only for wind projects within the Badger State. Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley disagreed.