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Factsheet
FAQ

General

Uplands Wind will be located on the border of northwest Lafayette County and southwest Iowa County in Wisconsin. This name pays homage to the Driftless Area’s renowned and unique landscape and geological history. Developed by Pattern Energy, the wind project will provide economic benefits and jobs that will last generations.

Pattern Energy is one of the nation’s largest private renewable energy companies, with a proven track record achieved through local and intentional engagement and support in the communities where we have a presence. Headquartered in the United States, Pattern Energy is in the business of building opportunity and that work starts with listening to local communities, developing relationships on the ground, and tailoring benefit programs to each community. Our business is guided by commitments to safety, serving our customers, protecting the environment, strengthening communities, and creating shared value.

Pattern Energy is led by a management team responsible for building more than 30 renewable energy projects throughout North America and Japan. Our leadership and core management have worked together for more than 15 years, uniting deep industry knowledge with investment expertise.

The Uplands Wind project represents a roughly $1 billion investment within Iowa and Lafayette Counties. Throughout development, construction, and operations, residents can expect to see widespread direct and indirect job creation and economic investment.

 

Under Wisconsin’s revenue sharing formula, every megawatt of power that is built pays $1,667 into its township and $2,333 into its county annually for a total of $4,000 per MW per year. The 600 MW project would provide on average more than $2.4 million per year to local communities. The stable, long-term funding may directly contribute to improved quality of education, services, roads, and first responder capabilities for the community.

Approximately 450 – 600 workers will be on-site during construction, which could take between one and two years. Local workers and subcontractors will be involved to the greatest extent possible – from building access roads and turbine foundations to assembling and installing turbine components. Subcontractors will be engaged to conduct civil work – grading, excavation, and concrete – electrical work and mechanical assembly. Activities will also include site preparation before infrastructure installation begins and site restoration after construction. Once operational, a Facility Manager and Assistant Facility Manager will oversee site activities, utilizing between 12-16 Turbine Technicians and a variety of local vendors and contractors when possible to provide maintenance services, including for communications, the operations, and maintenance building, access roads, the substation, and truck fleet.

Yes! Uplands Wind and our contractors take our commitments to the local communities where we build our projects very seriously. We will actively pursue local vendors, job seekers, and local union labor during development and hold a job fair prior to construction to engage interested companies and workers. We will keep a list of interested applicants and vendors during project development to share with the EPC company that is selected to hire subcontractors for construction. We will also establish a vendor and worker application portal.

Pattern Energy began developing the project in early 2020. The development period (prior to construction of the wind farm) includes many important, necessary steps including obtaining land easements, collecting meteorological data, performing environmental studies, and working through the permitting processes, to name a few. This can typically take anywhere from two to five years. Depending on factors such as seasonal conditions and final project size and design, construction is expected to last between 1 – 2 years.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) would assume jurisdiction over the project. The zoning standards to which the PSCW holds wind energy projects accountable were designed with input from local zoning officials including from Southwest Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, if a wind project’s maximum generating capacity is less than 100 MW, regulatory authority resides with the local governmental unit where the project would be located. If the project equals or exceeds 100 megawatts in capacity, then the PSCW assumes jurisdiction over the facility. In those cases, the PSCW’s permitting authority preempts local land use and zoning ordinances.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has conducted and cited many studies which have concluded that impacts of wind and transmission projects on neighboring property values are low to negligible. One of the most comprehensive studies of those listed examined nearly 7,500 U.S. residential transactions for homes located within 5 miles of wind turbine installations, 1,900 of which were within 1 mile and 125 of which occurred after the wind facilities were operational (Hoen et al. 2011). This study concluded that there was no statistical evidence of an impact on home prices from either views of or proximity to wind facilities.[1]

[1] Hoen, B.; Wiser, R.; Cappers, P.; Thayer, M.; Sethi, G. (2011). “Wind Energy Facilities and Residential Properties: The Effect of Proximity and View on Sales Prices.” Journal of Real Estate Research; (33; 3).

Wind turbines in Wisconsin are expected to generate energy between 80-90% of the time in an average year. Wind forecasting technology makes wind energy easier to predict and more reliable than ever before.

 

Electric grids are designed to handle variability in both demand and supply. Because of the natural variations in demand, the electric grid always has more power available than it needs in the form of reserves. During a power plant outage – whether a conventional plant or a wind plant – backup is provided by the entire interconnected utility system.

Pattern Energy has not yet begun the equipment selection process. There are a variety of turbine types available, but we have not yet determined the number of turbines required for this project, nor the size of the turbines we will seek to use.

Uplands Wind should not impact your electricity rates because it is not being developed by one of the state’s electric utilities. If one of the utilities purchases power from Uplands Wind, it will likely reduce electricity rates based on Uplands Wind being less expensive to run than the current Wisconsin power fleet.

No. For more than 40 years people have been living near more than 350,000 wind turbines operating globally and more than 50,000 wind turbines operating in North America. There is no scientific evidence indicating that wind turbines have caused any adverse health effects. Overall, health and medical agencies agree that the sound from wind turbines is not loud enough to cause hearing impairment and is not causally related to adverse effects. Scientific evidence to date, including the 25 peer-reviewed studies referenced in “Summary of Main Conclusions Reached in 25 Reviews of the Research Literature on Wind Farms and Health” compiled by Professor Simon Chapman and Teresa Simonetti of the Sydney University Medical School, indicates that at common residential setback distances there is no direct health risk from wind turbine noise, including low-frequency noise and infrasound.

Wind turbine sounds are not unique. Based on the levels and frequencies of the sounds, a multidisciplinary scientific advisory panel comprised of medical doctors, audiologists, and acoustical professionals concluded that there is no evidence the audible or sub-audible sounds emitted by wind turbines have any direct adverse physiological effects.

No. Wind turbines do not produce any greenhouse gas emissions, water discharges, or solid waste byproducts.

Pattern Energy uses a standard form of lease option so that each participating landowner can know they are getting the same fair payment as their neighbor. Pattern Energy does not amend payments in its lease options, though we reimburse attorney fees for landowners to be able to make sure they have had appropriate legal guidance and representation before signing an option agreement.

Experienced land agents with knowledge of Wisconsin are employed as direct contractors of Pattern Energy. They assist us with our mission to connect face-to-face with as many landowners as possible. Connecting with landowners and discussing land option and easement details is an important stage for us in learning about a community.

Pattern Energy Wind Development LLC is a company that owns the assets related to our wind generation efforts located in Iowa and Lafayette Counties known as Uplands Wind.

Our team is available to share information and answer questions. Please reach out to our project team with questions, any time via our project phone number 608.716.4700, or email address UplandsWind@PatternEnergy.com.

Construction

The Uplands Wind team will strive to minimize impacts to the land during construction to the greatest extent possible. Most of the impacts during construction are temporary and will be restored upon completion of construction. Each wind turbine typically needs less than one acre of land after construction, allowing landowners to continue farming and ranching around them. Heritage Prairie will work with farmers and ranchers when siting wind turbines, access roads, and collection lines to minimize impact to crops, grazing, and other farming and ranching operations.

Depending on factors such as seasonal conditions and final project size and design, construction is expected to last between 1-2 years.

All public roads that are expected to be utilized during construction are documented and analyzed to capture the existing condition of the roadways prior to commencing construction activities. All public roads impacted by the construction of the project will be returned to the same or better condition after construction activities. This arrangement is documented and memorialized through a Public Road Use Agreement with the local road engineers at both the Township and County levels. We understand there have been important issues brought up due to recent experience with other renewable energy projects in Livingston and Kankakee County and we will actively work with county officials to understand the relevant lessons from these experiences.

Uplands Wind is compatible with other land uses and provides a stable form of income to local landowners. The wind farm is sited on corn, wheat, and soybean fields and will provide landowners with a stable, weather-resistant cash crop through lease payments with minimal impact on current land use.

During construction, there will be additional traffic in the area as construction of the wind farm will require heavy equipment, which could include bulldozers, graders, trenching machines, concrete trucks, flatbed trucks, and large cranes. Once construction of the wind farm is complete and the project is operational, traffic will return to its pre-construction levels.

Turbine foundation excavations will be performed in a manner to preserve topsoil. Subsoils that are excavated to install the turbine foundation structure will be used to backfill the foundation and will be redistributed around the turbine after construction. If there is excess material that is not needed for fill on roads or other places in the project area, it will be removed unless otherwise agreed to by the landowner.

We recognize that tiling is an extremely important element of agricultural practices in the area and will work to prevent and/or mitigate agricultural impacts associated with the construction process. If there are current GPS coordinates of all drainage tiles, those would be used to assess the site before construction commences and tiles would be avoided to the greatest extent reasonable. Drainage tiles that are affected near the wind turbine sites are re-routed around the foundation area. Any tiles damaged by construction or maintenance of the project will be repaired in a timely manner in accordance with the terms of our leases. We recognize that, in some cases, damage to tiles may not be immediately apparent and we are committed to repairing any damage caused by our activities even if that damage is not discovered until the next big rain event.

Yes, as required by State and County regulations, Uplands Wind will have a decommissioning plan in place for the facility at the end of its useful life, and appropriate financial assurance will be put in place to ensure funds are available when the time comes. Turbines and other project infrastructure will be removed, and the site will be restored to its natural state. Modern wind farms are projected to last 30 years, although this can be extended depending on environmental factors and improvements in the technology.