Winds of Change

Could these grim looking coal-fired power plants scattered along the Lake Michigan shore finally be going the way of the dinosaur?

The Wisconsin Public Service Commission OK'd We Energies impressive plan to erect as many as 88 turbines and build a 10,500-acre wind farm just east of Lake Winnebago, according to a report in today's Fond du lac Reporter.

The so-called Blue Sky Green Field project could generate enough renewable electricity to power 45,000 homes, according to the company's overview.

"While other are talking about reducing our dependence on fossil fuels, Wisconsin is building wind turbines, investing in biomass, exploring other renewable sources, and moving toward energy indepedence," PSC Chairman Dan Ebert said in a prepared statement.

The chairman of the Town of Marshfield said the project would bring jobs to his area. Indeed, somebody has got to build, operate, and maintain all these new turbines.

In 2006, Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed legislation requiring power producers to generate 10 percent of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2015.