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 — The number of wind turbines still is on track to more than double since 2012 totals. At the end of 2012, there were 160 turbines in the Huron County. As 2014 comes to a close, 328 are set to turn. It’s enough for Huron County to claim 47 percent of the total turbines currently operating in Michigan, according a state listing of utility-scale wind farms in Michigan. Plans for construction next year may add 100 more. DTE . . .
HURON COUNTY — Sarah Mills hopes townships deciding whether or not to allow wind energy development can take the results of her study and understand the likely impacts. Mills, a University of Michigan doctoral candidate from Monroe County, wrapped up a two-year study of wind parks in Huron County and presented her findings Tuesday. “Essentially, before, it was either pro-wind people or anti-wind people that were telling you this,” Mills said. “This is a third-party study telling you this.” Mills . . .
HURON COUNTY — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it is confident that land area within three miles of the Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay shorelines needs to be protected from wind energy development. So confident, in fact, that the federal conservancy agency recommends Huron County include in its wind energy ordinance a “three-mile buffer inland from the shoreline that precludes development of wind power projects,” according to an Oct. 20 letter sent to the county. But the “wishy-washy” . . .
Strong winds smacked the otherwise silent fields of Meade Township on Tuesday night. A calmer decision made inside the town hall building puts DTE Energy one step closer to capturing that breeze. Parts of the township are now deemed suitable for wind energy development, as the town board gave final approval of DTE’s request for an overlay district in a 4-1 vote. The decision does not guarantee DTE the right to build. Next, permits must be obtained by the utility . . .
HURON COUNTY — Land area within three miles of the Lake Huron and Saginaw Bay shorelines deserves to be protected from wind energy development, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a letter addressed to county commissioners. The federal conservancy agency has submitted data for nocturnal migration of birds and bats in Huron County, which it says may be of value as officials revise the county’s wind energy ordinance. County planners say it’s the first time in eight years . . .
County planners consider new, 50-turbine wind park; Minnesota-based developer eyes Winsor, McKinley townships
HURON COUNTY — A developer new to Huron County and Michigan is moving closer to building a 50-turbine wind park in Winsor and McKinley townships. On Wednesday, county planners reviewed a site plan for Geronimo Energy’s Apple Blossom Wind Farm. They will further review the plan at a Dec. 3 meeting. David Shiflett, project manager, said the 100-megawatt park is a more than a $160 million project and will bring 10 full-time jobs to the area. Construction is scheduled to . . .
Industrial wind turbines are supposed to produce electricity. But they have also been producing lawsuits over issues such as noise and the associated negative health impacts they allegedly have on residents. Now there is legislation (Senate Bills 1123 and 1124) that would restrict “nuisance” lawsuits filed over wind turbines. Under the measures, those who operate or own wind turbines would be exempt from such lawsuits if the turbines were found to be in compliance with state and local rules. In . . .
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has raised serious concerns about a plan by Heritage Sustainable Energy, DTE Energy, Exelon Corporation, and NextEra Energy to construct additional commercial wind turbines in Huron County, Michigan, which could eventually result in up to 900 turbines in the area. This plan is advancing despite the fact that U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) radar studies show vast numbers of birds migrating through or wintering in this area. In an October 30 letter to the FWS . . .
FRANKLIN TWP. A wind turbine base being hauled by a semi-trailer Wednesday on U.S. 12 became dislodged from its trailer as the truck rounded a curve. William Sylvester Jr., 48, of Sacramento, California, was driving west on U.S. 12 near Deer Run Court at 1:40 p.m. when the turbine base shifted on the trailer as he rounded a curve, according to a report released Friday by the Monroe post of the Michigan State Police. The trailer carrying the base overturned and . . .
BAD AXE — Costs are mounting as the county will now foot a more than $20,000 bill to pay for day and nighttime studies of wind turbines. Grand Rapids acoustics firm Acoustics by Design was hired in August to conduct noise studies at turbine sites, at a cost of $10,500. Now, the county will pay the firm another $9,650 for nighttime studies at up to four locations. “Nighttime has been where a lot of the complaints have arisen,” Huron County . . .