One of the largest wind power developers in the nation announced plans to cancel a wind development project in Wisconsin. Scott Walker can add these job losses to rail project manufacturing, construction, and operation jobs he has thrown away. And let's not forget the tens of thousands of public employees on his chopping block. It is a good thing he made an exception for Randy Hopper's mistress.
Invenergy said that the abrupt suspension of state wind siting rules and an "unstable climate" — namely Gov. Scott Walker's bill to establish the nation's most stringent wind standards — had forced the firm to think twice about building its 100-turbine project in Wisconsin.
After careful review of the continuing uncertainty generation by the current legislative and regulatory climate, and after intensive evaluation of the resulting investment considerations, Invenergy has determined that it will no longer pursue development of the Ledge Wind Energy Center and requests that the Commission terminate the CPCN ("Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity") application process for the Ledge Wind Energy Center. With the recent suspension of Chapter PSC 128 and the unpredictability of the course of the ensuing legislative and administrative process, Invenergy cannot justify continuing to make significant investments regarding the Ledge Wind Energy Center while substantial uncertainty persists regarding relevant project regulations. Due to the advanced nature of development of the Ledge Wind Energy Center and the consequent extensive financial commitments, the absence of regulatory stability has made it imprudent for Invenergy to proceed with investments in a project which unknown regulations might make infeasible to construct.
Invenergy is not a small-time energy developer. In fact, it is one of the largest developers of wind farms in the nation.
Invenergy is the largest independent wind developer in the United States. More than twenty wind generating facilities, representing an aggregate generation capacity of over 2,200 MW, have been developed by Invenergy and are now operating in North America and Europe. Another 1,000 MW of Invenergy projects currently are under contract or under construction, and expected to be in operation by the end of 2012.
As noted by Solve Climate, this cancellation is probably just the first of many to come.
Hanging in the balance are 725 megawatts in proposed wind projects and $1.8 billion in new investment, along with 2 million hours of construction jobs, according to figures from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
"[Invenergy] may be the first, but I think it is unlikely that it will be the last," Reopelle told SolveClimate News.
"We're not surprised to see Invenergy pulling out, and we won't be surprised if additional developers pull out of projects."
Walker's two-pronged attack on the wind industry consists of:
Uncertainty about the state's wind power situation comes as the Legislature and Walker administration may consider bills to relax the state's renewable electricity mandate.
Under state law passed with bipartisan support more than five years ago, 10% of Wisconsin's electricity must come from renewable sources - including wind, solar and landfill gas-to-electricity projects - by 2015.
b) Dumping the the state's established wind turbine siting rules for new restrictive ones promoted by real estate developers.
There are 11 projects in development in Wisconsin, which now face an uncertain future under Scott Walker's reign. Unfortunately, Wisconsin is now only open to businesses approved by Koch Industries. Clean energy and public transportation projects need not apply.