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 commissioners are considering learning more about the effects of wind energy turbines on local residents. They are looking at spending more than $10,000 for a noise study, to learn more about the sound, sound pressure, vibrations, low-frequency “noise” and anything else that is being created by local turbines. Considering Huron County is the state’s leader in wind turbines, and receives many times the study cost in tax revenue from the turbines, this seems like a very reasonable expense. . . .
HURON COUNTY — Noise experts soon will help the county revise the portion of the zoning ordinance that addresses turbine noise with the goal of using science to ensure residents are protected while wind energy companies are still able to do business in the county. Huron County commissioners voted Tuesday to offer a contract to Acoustics By Design, an independent acoustical consulting firms headquartered in Grand Rapids. ABD was recommended by the wind energy subcommittee after the subcommittee interviewed the . . .
BAD AXE — After mulling proposals from two firms specializing in acoustics, the county has decided to pay an estimated $10,500 to Acoustics By Design to help revise Huron County’s wind ordinance as it relates to sound emitted from turbines. The company says it will prepare and submit a report of findings and recommendations for improving the county ordinance, or creating a new one. The $10,500 cost includes an estimated 60 hours of work. Commissioner David Peruski said those 60 . . .
HURON COUNTY — Sound levels measured at the county’s biggest wind park meet county limits for wind energy facilities, according to a report given by an environmental and consulting company. Ryan Pumford, project manager at the Florida-headquartered NextEra Energy, said microphones were placed at 15 testing locations at Pheasant Run and Brookfield Wind, including one stationed on the property of a non-participating resident, with permission. “Somebody who wrote a letter to this commission months back complaining about the sound, so . . .
BAD AXE — Hell hath no fury like the electric skies of Mother Nature. That much is true, at least for some wind turbines in Huron County. “We have almost 17 blades that have been struck by lightning since we started,” said Dennis Buda, operations manager at DTE. Buda said lightning has struck 11 to 12 turbine blades owned by DTE in the Thumb area, while another five have been jolted at the utility’s Echo Wind Park, grounded mostly in . . .
BAD AXE — At the midpoint of a wildlife study being conducted for four of DTE Energy’s wind parks in the Thumb, results show 35 bird and eight bat carcasses have been picked up since winter. “We found a relatively diverse mix of species,” said Rhett Good, senior manager at Western Ecosystems Technology Inc., a Wyoming-based environmental and statistical consulting firm. “We assume all the fatalities are wind-energy related.” The study, which began in the spring and continues to February . . .
BAD AXE — County planners and wind developers have reacted to a stringent wind energy ordinance drafted by Lake Township and its implications, at least on the surface. Clark Brock, county planning commission chairman, said without giving a full read, certain parts of the ordinance are “more limiting” than most other township ordinances. “We certainly aren’t going to say we concur with it because it’s considerably different than Huron County’s,” Brock said. And on paper, that observation holds true. Lake . . .
Moving forward, Nugent said he will continue to hold the same position toward wind energy he has in the past, regarding “proper setbacks” for wind turbines from the shoreline and ensuring protection for landowners. “If there’s been one issue that’s brought to my attention more than any other, it’s setbacks from the lakes,” he said. “I don’t want to see (wind turbines) in the lake or within three miles of the shorelines. It will reduce the number in Huron County, but it’s important to protect all landowners.”
Operators of the Stoney Corners Wind Farm in Missaukee and Osceola counties say they are considering obtaining a permit allowing the “taking” of a bald eagle if an eagle hits or is killed by one of its wind turbines. Project Manager Rick Wilson said although the company doesn’t want to see any kind of bird suffer, there are more concerns regarding golden eagles than bald eagles because their hunting characteristics make them more likely to have a run-in with a . . .
Consumers Energy is appealing the 51st Circuit Court ruling that upheld Mason County’s determination that the Lake Winds Energy Plant near Ludington is in violation of the county’s 45-decibel noise ordinance. Arguing that the County’s decision was an “erroneous ruling,” the utility filed a 38-page appeal with the Michigan Court of Appeals on July 18. In addition, Consumers Energy is saying that if the ruling by 51st Circuit Court Judge Richard Cooper were allowed to stand, it could have an . . .