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Republican lawmaker wants local voice on wind, solar projects

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(The Center Square) – New legislation at the Wisconsin Capitol would put local communities in charge of local wind and solar projects.

State Rep. Ty Bodden, R-Stockbridge, has introduced a plan that would require local leaders to sign off on wind and solar farms before regulators at Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission could move forward.

“This bill will give local municipalities a voice and provide local elected officials the final say on whether or not a wind or solar project can be constructed within their city, village or town,“ Bodden said in a statement.

Currently, the PSC makes the decisions about wind and solar farms in Wisconsin.

But that has, at times, put state regulators in charge of projects that don’t have unanimous local support.

“I have been inundated with messages from constituents who heavily oppose these massive wind energy projects being proposed in our area. These life-altering projects for communities should involve government at the local level,” Bodden added.

Bodden’s plan would stop the PSC from issuing a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity or a Certificate of Authority for any project unless local leaders are on-board.

“Recently, there have been grassroots community informational meetings held to inform the public of the potential downsides of these projects, and these efforts have been growing fast. Communities and locals should have a say,” Bodden said.

The new legislation comes after Bodden signed on to a plan earlier this session that would give local leaders more control over wind projects.

That plan was bottled up in the Senate and never went anywhere. Bodden’s current plan is also expected to fall flat.

Wisconsin lawmakers have essentially gone home for the year, so any new legislation will have to be reintroduced and taken-up by a new legislature in 2025.

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