[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


News Home

Subscribe to RSS feed

Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Sign up for daily updates

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate $10

Donate $5

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Publications & Products

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Community wind farm in spotlight again  

HURON COUNTY – Port Austin area resident and New River Renewable Energy President Ron Belisle hasn’t given up the fight for a community-developed wind farm.

During the Huron County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Belisle said there are five things that have to be accomplished before a community wind farm can be developed.

First, he has to develop an interconnection agreement to the ITC Transmission grid that distributes power. Belisle said he will need approval from the Midwest Independent System Transmission Operator (MISO) because that’s the organization that controls the grid.

Belisle said it will cost about $1,000 to set up a meeting that would result in an engineering plan of how to start at the wind farm’s original point and connect the power to the grid. The study itself could cost up to $10,000, he said.

“Then ITC would take on a contract to expand the grid (which has) to be funded by the requester – our company (New River Renewable Energy),” Belisle said. That expansion could cost anywhere between $2 and $2.5 million, he said.

“ITC would pay that (along with interest) once electricity becomes generated,” Belisle said. “And they would assume ownership of the grid extension then.”

The second thing that has to be accomplished before a community wind farm can be created deals with zoning processes the group will have to undertake.

Belisle said that work would involve applying for overlays in the Lincoln-Dwight township area where he’s interested in building the community wind farm. The third task that has to be completed before any wind farm can be constructed deals with creating a power purchase agreement from a city or industry that’s interested in buying the power that’s produced.

The fourth issue involves getting the actual turbines, Belisle said.

He said it’s relatively difficult because there’s such a large demand for turbines.

“The worldwide demand is twice that of the manufacturing capacities,” Belisle said. “It will be difficult.”

The fifth and final task that would have to be completed would involve locating a company that can do the actual installation of the turbines, he said.

“It’s a pretty serious undertaking,” Belisle said, adding that a lot of the work can be done by local companies, though an out-of-county company more than likely will be needed to assist local businesses with the installation.

He acknowledged it won’t be easy creating a community wind farm, but said he’s very optimistic it can be done.

“I’m still hopeful a farm can be made just like the area co-ops have been created,” Belisle said.

Regarding progress he’s made on the project, Belisle said he’s met with lawmakers in Lansing about five or six times, and also has learned that the Michigan State University school of agriculture is willing to help analyze the area’s wind patterns through the use of meteorological towers.

Belisle previously approached commissioners earlier this fall during a presentation about the opportunity in Huron County for a wind farm that’s developed, owned and operated on a community basis.

He said a similar project has been under way in Minnesota where a community has sought a financial backer to fund the community’s development of a wind farm. Once the return on investment is made, the community would then gain full ownership of the farm, and share the project’s profits.

Belisle said Huron County already is leading the state in wind development, and it would make more sense for the benefits that come from a wind project to stay in the area, rather than go to out-of-state developers and owners.

He said there are a variety of jobs that could result from a community-developed wind farm.

For example, a security service would be needed to protect the turbines and check for icing, Belisle said. Also, a company would need to be contracted to plow access roads and cut weeds.

An accounting team also would be needed to monitor the farm’s finances, and other personnel would be needed to monitor a 24-hour control room, he added. “I see a lot of investment opportunities and high-tech job creation,” Belisle said.

By Kate Hessling

Huron Daily Tribune

29 November 2007

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
Donate $5 PayPal Donate


News Watch Home

Get the Facts Follow Wind Watch on Twitter

Wind Watch on Facebook


© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.