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.
NORTH BRANCH TWP. – About 200 people gathered Tuesday at the Rebel Ranch horse farm in northern Lapeer County to talk wind turbines – some expressing opposition, others delivering stern warnings about potential impact, and many simply to learn. Eight people spoke at the event hosted by North Branch Township’s Traci Martin, including state Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Williams Township (in Bay County), along with others who have experience with wind turbines from around the state. Statements prepared by Gary Roy, chairman of . . .
LAPEER – Lapeer County Board of Commissioners Chairman Gary Roy is putting his potential 2018 reelection on the line in voicing opposition to what he identifies as “horrible” wind turbines under consideration for the northern part of the county. Roy, whose district two includes Arcadia, Burlington, Burnside, Goodland, and North Branch townships, asked that a prepared statement be read during a meeting held Tuesday at a North Branch Township farm called Rebel Ranch. Traci Martin said she organized the event quickly . . .
CORUNNA – Without discussion Thursday, the Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners approved a proposal to extend a moratorium on wind projects in the county by six months. The proposal, which was discussed at length at Monday’s Economic and Physical Development Committee meeting, was approved by a 5-0 vote, with commissioners Brandon Marks and Mark Coscarelli absent. The proposal asks the county’s legal counsel to draw up language for an extension from January through June 2018. Subscription Required
DETROIT – Since April, DTE Electric Company has recorded easements on 276 parcels of agricultural property in Branch County for the purpose of evaluation for wind farm developments. Atwell Engineering, as agents for DTE, has negotiated and recorded documents from 59 property owners mostly in Union, Sherwood and Matteson Townships. Other parcels are in Batavia, Bronson, and three in Quincy Townships. The easements, filed with the Register of Deeds, started with one filed by Union Township Supervisor Ralph Strong and his . . .
A mediator has been appointed to try to settle a dispute between a wind-energy operator and township officials in Michigan’s Thumb region. A federal judge this week tapped Grand Rapids lawyer Bruce Neckers. After four wind-energy critics were elected in 2016, Almer Township rejected a permit that could have cleared the way for 19 turbines in the Tuscola County community. Tuscola Wind III is controlled by wind giant NextEra Energy Resources, which has 110 projects in the U.S. and Canada. . . .
NORTH BRANCH TWP. – North Branch Township resident Traci Martin did not expect to spend last week doing things like securing folding chairs and tables, finding a microphone and podium, and figuring out how she might feed as many as 500 people. But that’s exactly what happened when word quickly spread via Facebook about an “informative meeting” about 499-foot industrial wind turbines she’s hosting Tuesday (Oct. 17). Among other things, people with experience in dealing with wind turbines from other communities . . .
The Michigan State University Extension Service pulled from its website a model zoning ordinance for wind energy developments after industry executives and lobbyists complained that its safety standards would impede wind farm development. The ordinance was contained in a pamphlet that was posted in March 2017 and pulled down later in the spring. MSU then posted a revised version on Aug. 24. The recommendations in that version would allow for turbines and their towers to be located closer to property . . .
BAD AXE – Some members of the Huron County Planning Commission are disappointed in a recent wind energy zoning report from Michigan State University Extension. Last week, the planners reviewed “Sample Zoning for Wind Energy Systems,” which is part of the MSU Extension Land Use Series. Criticism included the fact that wind developers from NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and DTE Energy contributed to discussion of the subject prior to publication. Planner Ken Walker called the report “very one-sided.” “This is not . . .
SIGEL TOWNSHIP – A blade broke on a DTE Energy wind turbine Saturday night at the Sigel Wind Park around 6:30 p.m. on Minden Road south of Section Line Road. “An automated safety system shut down the turbine immediately,” said Cynthia Hecht, senior communications specialist with DTE. “There were no injuries or property damage.” “Maintenance personnel have been on site since (Saturday) evening to secure equipment and are investigating the cause of the incident,” she said in an email on Sunday . . .
BURLINGTON TWP. – Property owners in northeast Lapeer County signed 20 agreements with DTE Energy since late June that are specific to “wind energy development,” and the Detroit-based utility confirmed Friday that wind turbines could be on the way to the area as soon as 2022. The 20 easement agreements encompass a total of 60 parcels in Burlington, Burnside and North Branch townships. The majority of the 40-year agreements (with an option for an addition 20 years) are for land generally . . .