Wind Power News: Michigan
These news and opinion items are gathered by National Wind Watch to help keep readers informed about developments related to industrial wind energy. They are the products of the organizations or individuals noted and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of National Wind Watch.
HURON COUNTY — DTE Energy is taking to the phones, surveying about 400 residents to inquire their impression of wind energy and renewables in Huron County. “We want people’s honest impressions. That’s why we’re calling,” said Matt Wagner, DTE wind site development manager. “Clearly, wind energy and renewable energy is relevant in Huron County.” Clearly. It’s a time when county leaders expect to decide in the coming week, after a months-long effort, whether to impose a moratorium putting a stop . . .
BAD AXE — County commissioners want a little more assurance — and insurance — that a developer has solid plans to deconstruct wind turbines once they’ve reached longevity. Colorado-headquartered RES Americas plans 72 turbines for north and northeastern Huron County, in Dwight, Huron, Bloomfield and Lincoln townships. It would cost more than $108,000 per turbine, or about $5.1 million total, to take down the 47 turbines aimed for county-zoned townships Dwight, Bloomfield and Lincoln after the 20- to 25-year life . . .
Wind turbines went up rapidly in Missaukee County where there was no zoning to control where they could or could not be placed. With Wexford County discussing eliminating county-wide zoning, it’s fair to ask the question of what it would mean if zoning at the county level was dropped and relegated to the townships. Given that there is no county zoning in Missaukee County, government’s role was largely limited to the building department running each wind turbine through the permitting . . .
Injunction sought over alleged wind turbine threat to eagles, other protected species in Upper Peninsula
DELTA COUNTY, MI – An Upper Peninsula group has filed for an injunction to stop construction of power-generating wind turbines on Lake Michigan’s northern shore that it says pose a risk to endangered species of migrating birds. Garden Peninsula Foundation in January filed a lawsuit against Traverse City-based Heritage Sustainable Energy LLC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The group is seeking damages for loss of quality of life and asked that the project be re-evaluated or abandoned. Garden Peninsula . . .
HURON COUNTY — Gov. Rick Snyder, in a special message on energy Friday, called for slashes to coal energy and ramping up renewables during the next decade. Of the state’s energy goal for 2025, Snyder said 19 percent should come from renewable energy. The figure would double the amount utilities are on target to reach by the end of this year. In Huron County — Michigan’s leader in wind energy development — 835 square miles lay ground to 328 turbines. . . .
HURON COUNTY — A public hearing and resolution regarding a moratorium was pulled from the agenda of Tuesday’s Huron County Board of Commissioners meeting after multiple residents and stakeholders voiced objections to a pause in wind energy development for county-zoned townships. Commissioners had planned a public hearing at the request of DTE Energy during their regular meeting, but announced it would be postponed until 10 a.m. April 2 in the Huron County Circuit Courtroom. A second public hearing for all . . .
A diagram recently distributed in the media, and by people who support responsible turbine siting, has caused controversy. The diagram illustrated the size of the area of land impacted by the erection of a wind turbine, and stated that landowners would be limited in their ability to build on their own property if a turbine was placed nearby. Some have called this misinformation, so I will correct it by stating that landowners would not be able to safely build on . . .
LANSING – When Gov. Rick Snyder gives a special message on energy issues in Warren on Friday, he’ll be competing with dramatically different plans offered by Republicans and Democrats in recent weeks. State Rep. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, offered a plan last week that goes back to a fully regulated market for electricity and maintains, but does not increase a mandate that utilities get 10% of their energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar. His plan also does away with . . .
BAD AXE — More time will be given to make a decision on wind energy, which has taken center stage in recent months as one of the most divisive issues in Huron County. The decision will be whether to put a halt to wind development for up to six months that would apply strictly to 16 county-zoned townships. Two more public hearings have been scheduled, allowing residents, businesses and developers to weigh in again before county commissioners make a final . . .
BAD AXE — Back in August last year, Commissioner John Nugent said the whole county is watching. It was in reference to the ongoing work of the county’s Wind Energy Zoning Committee to revise the wind ordinance in the areas of setbacks, noise, shadow flicker and other regulations for wind energy. Months later, in December, the county turned its eyes to Nugent when he made mention of retaining a Grand Rapids attorney to pursue a moratorium that would put a . . .