2013 - 2014 LEGISLATURE
March 8, 2013 - Introduced by Senators Lasee, Ellis, Leibham, Grothman and
Moulton, cosponsored by Representatives Jacque, Murtha, Bies, Endsley,
Kestell, Klenke, Knudson, LeMahieu, Spiros and Thiesfeldt. Referred to
Committee on Government Operations, Public Works, and
SB71,1,4 1An Act to repeal 66.0401 (4) (f) 1.; to renumber and amend 66.0401 (4) (f) 2.;
2and to amend 66.0401 (1m) (intro.), 66.0401 (4) (g), 66.0401 (5) (b) 3. and
3196.378 (4g) (b) of the statutes; relating to: limiting the regulation of wind
4energy systems by local governments.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Current law limits the authority of a city, village, town, or county (political
subdivision) to regulate solar and wind energy systems. For both types of systems,
current law prohibits a political subdivision from imposing a restriction on the
installation or use of the system unless the restriction satisfies one of the following
three conditions: 1) it serves to preserve or protect the public health or safety; 2) it
does not significantly increase the cost of the system or significantly decrease the
system's efficiency; or 3) it allows for an alternative system of comparable cost and
efficiency. However, for wind energy systems, current law imposes an additional
limitation on a political subdivision's authority by prohibiting a restriction that is
more restrictive than rules promulgated by the Public Service Commission (PSC)
under current law. This bill allows a political subdivision to impose a restriction on
a wind energy system that is more restrictive than the PSC rules, but only if the
restriction satisfies one of the foregoing three conditions. The bill does not affect a
political subdivision's authority regarding solar energy systems.

For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
SB71,1 1Section 1. 66.0401 (1m) (intro.) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB71,2,82 66.0401 (1m) Authority to restrict systems limited. (intro.) No A political
3subdivision may place any a restriction, either directly or in effect, on the installation
4or use of a wind energy system that is more restrictive than the rules promulgated
5by the commission under s. 196.378 (4g) (b). No political subdivision may place any
6restriction, either directly
, or in effect, a restriction on the installation or use of a
7solar energy system, as defined in s. 13.48 (2) (h) 1. g., or a wind energy system, unless
8but only if the restriction satisfies one of the following conditions:
SB71,2 9Section 2. 66.0401 (4) (f) 1. of the statutes is repealed.
SB71,3 10Section 3. 66.0401 (4) (f) 2. of the statutes is renumbered 66.0401 (4) (f), and
1166.0401 (4) (f), as renumbered, is amended to read:
SB71,2,1812 66.0401 (4) (f) A political subdivision may deny an application for approval if
13the proposed site of the wind energy system is in an area primarily designated for
14future residential or commercial development, as shown in a map that is adopted,
15as part of a comprehensive plan, under s. 66.1001 (2) (b) and (f), before June 2, 2009,
16or as shown in such maps after December 31, 2015, as part of a comprehensive plan
17that is updated as required under s. 66.1001 (2) (i). This subdivision paragraph
18applies to a wind energy system that has a nominal capacity of at least one megawatt.
SB71,4 19Section 4. 66.0401 (4) (g) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB71,3,220 66.0401 (4) (g) A political subdivision that chooses to regulate wind energy
21systems shall enact an ordinance to do so, subject to sub. (6) (b), that is no. Subject

1to sub. (1m), the ordinance may be
more restrictive than the applicable standards
2established by the commission in rules promulgated under s. 196.378 (4g).
SB71,5 3Section 5. 66.0401 (5) (b) 3. of the statutes is amended to read:
SB71,3,94 66.0401 (5) (b) 3. An applicant whose application for approval is denied under
5sub. (4) (f) 2. may appeal the denial to the commission. The commission may grant
6the appeal notwithstanding the inconsistency of the application for approval with
7the political subdivision's planned residential or commercial development if the
8commission determines that granting the appeal is consistent with the public
SB71,6 10Section 6. 196.378 (4g) (b) of the statutes is amended to read:
SB71,3,2311 196.378 (4g) (b) The commission shall, with the advice of the wind siting
12council, promulgate rules that specify the restrictions a political subdivision may
13impose on the installation or use of a wind energy system consistent with the
14conditions specified in s. 66.0401 (1m) (a) to (c). The subject matter of these rules
15shall include setback requirements that provide reasonable protection from any
16health effects, including health effects from noise and shadow flicker, associated with
17wind energy systems. The subject matter of these rules shall also include
18decommissioning and may include visual appearance, lighting, electrical
19connections to the power grid, setback distances, maximum audible sound levels,
20shadow flicker, proper means of measuring noise, interference with radio, telephone,
21or television signals, or other matters. A As provided in s. 66.0401 (1m), a political
22subdivision may not place a restriction on the installation or use of a wind energy
23system that is more restrictive than these rules.
SB71,7 24Section 7. Initial applicability.
1(1) The treatment of section 66.0401 (1m) (intro.) and (4) (g) of the statutes first
2applies to an ordinance that takes effect on the effective date of this subsection.
SB71,4,33 (End)