Construction of the county’s second planned Wind Energy System may begin in coming months.
RMT, Inc. of Grand Rapids currently is developing a project which may lead to the installation of 32 turbines in Oliver and Chandler townships.
Construction of the turbines will not begin until the company receives the go ahead from the Midwest Independent System Operator (MISO) to connect to the national grid system and from township, county and state officials.
MISO studies the electrical system’s carrying capacity, so as not to overload the system which causes blackouts.
The company has to go through a series of steps at the township, county and state level before proceeding with the project.
The Chandler Township Board approved and adopted regulations in its zoning ordinance relating to a wind energy facility earlier this month, and most recently the township’s zoning board approved a recommendation to the township board regarding a wind energy facility overlay map amendment. The recommendation will be forwarded to the Huron County Planning Commission for review and the Chandler Township Board for final approval, said township Supervisor William Renn.
The Oliver Township Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Nov. 2 on the request for a special use permit for a utility grid wind energy system in the agriculture preservation zoning district.
The proposed turbines are expected to be constructed in sections 31, 32, 33 and 34 of Chandler Township and sections 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Oliver Township. The windmills in Chandler Township will run along Berne Road from Gagetown Road to Herford Road. The proposed sites for the turbines in Oliver Township are to be accessed from Gagetown, Berne, Richardson, Maxwell and Farver roads.
“This is just one step in the process,” Lundberg said. “The time frame at this juncture is to keep the process moving.”
Each turbine will stand approximately 400 feet tall with a blade length of approximately 135 feet. The electricity generated from each turbine is created approximately 270 feet from the ground. The turbine’s steel base measures, at its largest point, approximately 16 feet in diameter, Lundberg said.
RMT is among five companies looking at wind energy solutions in Huron County, Lundberg said. The company has been measuring wind speed and patterns in the area for at least one year, he added.
Lundberg said the project is important for Huron County because of its dual benefits.
“It’s a two-fold benefit,” Lundberg said. “It preserves agricultural land use patterns into the future and discourages non-agricultural development. It also creates an economic atmosphere in the county that we desperately need. This is an incentive for other development.”
The Oliver Township Planning Commission will host a public hearing at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Elkton Civic Center.
By Megan Frounfelter, The Huron Daily Tribune
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