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.
MEADE TOWNSHIP — About 120 voters who signed a petition to decide whether Meade Township is suitable for wind development may not have the opportunity to do so, township officials say. Meade resident Rita Parsch’s petition for referendum, filed with the township board, sought to put on the May ballot the question of whether DTE Energy’s wind overlay district should be approved. The overlay map deems areas within the township suitable for the utility’s plan to site 40 wind turbines. . . .
BAD AXE — County Commissioner John Nugent knows how to get attention. After stating his intention last week to pursue a countywide moratorium on wind energy development, several residents, commissioners and the county’s corporate counsel have responded. “I have no intention to deviate from what I said,” Nugent said at Tuesday’s board meeting. “I’m in the process of researching it, speaking with people, talking with attorneys. And when it’s appropriate, after the first of the year, when we have a . . .
The Michigan Senate is considering a bill that would strip residents of their right to sue over the “nuisance” of nearby wind turbines. It will likely get nowhere in the few days remaining in 2014, but could be reintroduced in 2015. There have been many lawsuits in Michigan and other states brought against turbine operators for noise, vibrations, and flickering lights causing sleeplessness, headaches, and other physical symptoms, as well as economic loss, for nearby residents. The legislation would protect . . .
Three Clinton County townships will request a rehearing with the Michigan Court of Appeals in their attempts to regulate a $120-million wind farm project. The board of trustees of Bengal, Dallas and Essex townships all voted to request a rehearing during a joint board meeting held at the Bengal Township Hall on Thursday night. The decision came after an hour-long closed session with Bill Fahey, the attorney for all three townships. During the session, Fahey went over the options with . . .
ESCANABA – Potential wind energy initiatives could be delayed for up to a year in Schoolcraft County after a moratorium on wind farm development was approved by the county’s board of commissioners. This moratorium, which was approved in November, officially prevents permits, licenses, and approvals for wind energy development from being issued in the county, Commissioner Craig Reiter said. It will last for either one year or until the county’s ordinance on wind energy is revised. “Basically, it shuts (development) . . .
Farm Bureau policymakers voted to further clarify the application of Right-to-Farm to housing developments and windmill projects. "They call these things wind farms, but they're not farms," one delegate argued, "and they should not be included in the definition of a farm." Delegates agreed, and inserted language into the policy that opposes inclusion of commercial wind turbine facilities as part of a definition of a farm.
HURON COUNTY — Citing resident requests, one Huron County Commissioner said he plans to renew the discussion to prevent new wind parks in the county. Commissioner John Nugent said an increasing percentage of the community opposes wind parks and is asking the county to halt new developments. “A lot of you saw what is happening in Meade Township. There is a growing concern about these wind turbine developments and the fact that we have an antiquated ordinance that is in . . .
BAD AXE — Talks of a moratorium on wind energy are back on the table, as one county commissioner says wind projects should be halted until the county’s ordinance is updated. “A moratorium is in order at this point until that (wind) ordinance can be revised,” County Commissioner John Nugent said at Tuesday’s board of commissioners meeting. “I hope to bring a resolution to that effect to this board.” The ordinance, which stipulates many logistics in siting wind turbines, was . . .
Legislation to protect wind farms from lawsuits appears likely to die in the lame duck session. The legislation proposed by Republican state Senator Howard Walker would make it harder for neighbors to sue if wind turbines are noisy. Critics say it’s a favor for one company based in Traverse City. Wind farms have popped up across the state since Michigan passed a new law encouraging them in 2008. Sometimes neighbors say the noise of the turbines causes headaches and interrupts . . .
LANSING – A proposed $120 million wind-power project has cleared another legal hurdle, bringing electricity production a step closer to reality across rural land in three Clinton County townships. In response to the Michigan Court of Appeals decision, the boards of Dallas, Essex and Bengal townships have called a special joint meeting Thursday night to consider options in their two-year effort to block or downsize Forest Hill Energy’s proposed 39-turbine project. Last Thursday, the three-judge appeals panel upheld a lower . . .