Officials from Noble Environmental Power said they are continuing to work out agreements with regulators and companies involved with the Thumb’s electrical grid that will allow for the construction of Michigan’s first commercial wind park to begin later this year.
The company plans to erect 41 wind-powered electric turbines in Huron County’s Bingham Township near Ubly during the second half of 2007. It recently won approval from the zoning board to install an additional nine turbines.
The company had hoped to have 32 turbines – each of which is 380-foot-high and capable of generating 1.5 megawatts of electricity during peak conditions -running by July 2006.
“It just keeps getting delayed,” said Anna Giovinetto, spokeswoman for the Essex, Conn., company, which has a Michigan office in Ubly.
The delays stem from difficulties connecting the wind park to the Thumb’s existing electrical infrastructure. That includes both the high-voltage transmission system, which transports electricity across long distances, and the low-voltage distribution system, which DTE Energy uses to deliver electricity to homes and businesses.
The transmission system may need more than $100 million in upgrades to handle all the electricity that wind power could generate.
Noble Environmental Power has had to work with several parties to get approval for the project, including DTE Energy; ITC Transmission, which owns the transmission lines; the Midwest Independent System Operator, which is responsible for the safe transmission of electricity; the Michigan Public Service Commission; and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“Most of (these issues) have been worked through,” Giovinetto said.
By BILL CHAPIN
Contact Bill Chapin at (810) 989-0741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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