The Jan. 23 State Journal editorial, “PSC should approve big solar farm” noted, "Some neighbors worry about impacts on their properties and quality of life. ... The Driftless Area in southwestern Wisconsin features rolling hills and natural beauty.” The editorial also said, "Solar panels are less intrusive than wind turbines dotting the skyline."
OUR VIEW: Wisconsin needs more clean energy to combat climate change
Where is that sentiment from the State Journal regarding the Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line and the destructive impact to the Driftless Area?
The Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line towers will be 110 to 175 feet high. They will be seen for miles and will stretch from the Mississippi River to Middleton. This is surely more intrusive than wind turbines and solar panels.
This transmission line will send power to points east while the Driftless Area folks get transmission lines moving power they don’t need.
The solar farm and the transmission line are both before the Public Service Commission. Additional local wind power projects are likely to be proposed. These projects need to be considered collectively, while also analyzing the impact of non-transmission alternatives. Otherwise, the shift from coal-fired generation to renewable power is going to turn the Driftless Area into a utility district.
Joel Kurth, Waunakee, Driftless Area land owner