Glacier Hills Wind Park

The Glacier Hills Wind Park, located in the towns of Randolph and Scott in Columbia County, is designed to generate 162 megawatts (MW) of electricity and is capable of powering approximately 45,000 average residential homes. The site consists of 90 wind turbines.

Glacier Hills Wind Park map

Need

We are pursuing additional wind energy to meet increasing customer demand for renewable energy and to meet the state of Wisconsin’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The standard requires Wisconsin utilities to generate 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2015. Our current portfolio includes approximately 3 percent from renewable energy.

Construction

Construction of access roads and turbine foundations to support the 90 turbines began on May 17, 2010. Beginning in spring 2011, turbine equipment was delivered and erected. Additional activities included construction of the substation and collector system. The wind farm began commercial operation on Dec. 20, 2011.

The project was constructed by a Wisconsin-based alliance that included The Boldt Company of Appleton, Michels Corporation of Brownsville and Edgerton Contractors, Inc. of Oak Creek.

Developing Glacier Hills Wind Park through this home-state construction alliance benefited Wisconsin’s economy while achieving a low-cost approach to generating more energy from renewable resources. We built the project with the talents of these Wisconsin companies and local craft labor. Providing benefits to Wisconsin businesses is important to us and to our customers.

Turbine equipment

We Energies purchased 90 wind turbines from Vestas Wind Systems. Each Vestas V90 turbine is capable of producing 1.8 MW of electricity.

Model

V90

Electric Capacity

1.8MW

Hub Height

262 ft

Blade Length

148 ft

Tip Height

410 ft

Operational RPMs

14.5 rpms

Cut in wind speed (mph)

9 mph

Rated wind speed (mph)

29 mph

Cut out wind speed (mph)

56 mph

Weight of rotor (tons)

38 tons

Weight of nacelle w/o rotor (tons)

71 tons

Weight of tower (tons)

138 tons


Approvals and timeline

As a regulated utility, we were required to obtain authorization from the PSCW to construct the project. We filed the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity application (PDF 1821k) on Oct. 27, 2008.

In September 2009, the PSCW issued the Final Environmental Impact Statement (PDF 4200k) on the project. Technical hearings were held on Nov. 2, 2009, and public hearings were held in the local community on Nov. 4, 2009.

The PSCW issued the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (PDF 1.7mb) authorizing construction of the project on Jan. 22, 2010.

In addition, we worked with the local communities and numerous other agencies including: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Federal Aviation Administration, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Federation, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Wisconsin State Historical Society and National Heritage Inventory.