Wis. Admin. Code Public Service Commission § PSC 128.19 - Decommissioning

Current through March 28, 2022

(1) REQUIREMENT TO DECOMMISSION.
(a) An owner of a wind energy system shall decommission and remove the wind energy system when the system is at the end of its useful life.
(b) A wind energy system is presumed to be at the end of its useful life if the wind energy system generates no electricity for a continuous 360-day period. This presumption may be rebutted under par. (c).
(c) Upon application by the owner, and except as provided in par. (d), a political subdivision shall grant an extension of the time period for returning the wind energy system to service by one or more additional 180 day periods if the owner demonstrates it is likely the wind energy system will operate again in the future and any of the following occur:
1. The owner submits a plan to the political subdivision that demonstrates an ongoing good faith effort to return the wind energy system to service and outlines the steps and schedule for returning the wind energy system to service in a reasonable period of time, including by repairing, replacing or repowering the wind energy system facilities as necessary to generate electricity.
2. The owner demonstrates that the wind energy system is part of a prototype or other demonstration project being used for ongoing research or development purposes.
3. The owner demonstrates that the wind energy system is being used for educational purposes.
(d) A political subdivision may deny a request for an extension under par. (c) if the wind energy system has not generated any electricity for a continuous period of 540 days or more and the political subdivision finds that the owner is not capable of returning the wind energy system to service within a reasonable period of time.
(e) A wind energy system is irrebuttably presumed to be at the end of its useful life if the wind energy system generates no electricity for a period of 540 days and any of the following occur:
1. The owner does not request an extension of the time period for returning the wind energy system to service under par. (c).
2. The political subdivision denies a request for an extension under par. (d) and any appeal rights have expired.
(f) When decommissioning is required, the owner shall begin decommissioning within 360 days after the wind energy system has reached the end of its useful life. The owner shall complete decommissioning and removal of the wind energy system within 540 days after the wind energy system has reached the end of its useful life.
(2) DECOMMISSIONING REVIEW. A political subdivision may establish a decommissioning review process to determine when a wind energy system has reached the end of its useful life.
(3) FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
(a) The owner of a wind energy system with a nameplate capacity of one megawatt or larger shall maintain proof of the owner's ability to fund the actual and necessary cost to decommission the wind energy system and shall ensure the availability of funds necessary for decommissioning throughout the expected life of the wind energy system and through to completion of the decommissioning activities.
(b) A political subdivision may require an owner of a wind energy system with a nameplate capacity of one megawatt or larger to provide financial assurance of the owner's ability to pay for the actual and necessary cost to decommission the wind energy system before commencing major civil construction activities such as blasting or foundation construction at the wind energy system site. An owner may comply with this paragraph by choosing to provide a bond, deposit, escrow account, irrevocable letter of credit, or some combination of these financial assurances, that will ensure the availability of funds necessary for decommissioning throughout the expected life of the wind energy system and through to completion of the decommissioning activities.
(c) A political subdivision may require an owner to provide the financial assurance under par. (b) in an amount up to the estimated actual and necessary cost to decommission the wind energy system. If a political subdivision requires an owner to provide financial assurance under par. (b), the political subdivision may do any of the following:
1. Require the owner to provide the political subdivision with up to 3 cost estimates of the actual and necessary cost to decommission the wind energy system that are prepared by third parties agreeable to the owner and the political subdivision.
3. Require an owner to establish financial assurance that places the political subdivision in a secured position, and that any secured funds may only be used for decommissioning the wind energy system until either the political subdivision determines that the wind energy system has been decommissioned under sub. (5) (b), or until the political subdivision has otherwise approved the release of the secured funds, whichever is earlier.
4. Require an owner to establish financial assurance that allows the political subdivision to access funds for the purpose of decommissioning the wind energy system if the owner does not decommission the wind energy system when decommissioning is required.
(d) If a political subdivision requires an owner to provide cost estimates under par. (c) 1., a political subdivision may not require the amount of the financial assurance to exceed the average of the cost estimates provided.
(e) A political subdivision may condition its approval of a wind energy system on the owner's compliance with pars. (b) and (c).
(f) During the useful life of a wind energy system, the political subdivision may periodically request information from the owner regarding the industry costs for decommissioning the wind energy system. If a political subdivision finds that the future anticipated cost to decommission the wind energy system is at least 10 percent more or less than the amount of financial assurance previously provided under par. (b), the political subdivision may correspondingly increase or decrease the amount of financial assurance required for the wind energy system. A political subdivision may not adjust the financial assurance under this paragraph more often than once in a 5-year period.
(g) A political subdivision may require an owner to submit to the political subdivision a substitute financial assurance of the owner's choosing under par. (b) if an event occurs that raises material concerns regarding the viability of the existing financial assurance.
(4) SITE RESTORATION.
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), if a wind energy system was constructed on land owned by a person other than the owner of the wind energy system, the owner of the wind energy system shall ensure that the property is restored to preconstruction condition, unless otherwise provided in a contract signed by an affected landowner, considering any modifications needed to comply with DNR requirements.
(b) If a wind energy system was constructed on a brownfield, as defined in s. 238.13(1) (a), Stats., the owner shall restore the property to eliminate effects caused by the wind energy system, except for the effects of environmental remediation activities, as defined in s. 238.13(1) (d), Stats.
(5) DECOMMISSIONING COMPLETION.
(a) An owner shall file a notice of decommissioning completion with the political subdivision and the commission when a wind energy system approved by the political subdivision has been decommissioned and removed.
(b) Within 360 days of receiving a notice of decommissioning, a political subdivision shall determine whether the owner has satisfied the requirements of subs. (1)(a) and (4).

Notes

Wis. Admin. Code Public Service Commission § PSC 128.19
CR 10-057: CR Register February 2011 No. 662, eff. 3-1-11; correction in (4) (b) made under s. 13.92(4) (b) 7, Stats., Register December 2012 No. 684.

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