NORWOOD TOWNSHIP – It’s still in the preliminary stages…but a northern Michigan power company is researching a Charlevoix County community as the possible home to a wind turbine site.
Traverse City Light and Power recently signed a real estate option and wind easement contract that could potentially lead to the construction of several wind turbines in Norwood Township.
“The nature of our ordinance is if we don’t address that my understanding is that the planning commission has appointed a sub committee to work on the creation of that so we can get the towers permitted properly in our township,” says Norwood Township supervisor Tim Boyko.
Boyko says the township has not yet approved a permit for meteorological towers to test wind speeds on property that TCLP is considering for the wind turbine farm.
One of the considered sites is about a mile from US 31 on 400 acres of the Manthei Development property just south of Charlevoix.
“We do not have an official proposal yet. We just have the preliminary study and that will indicate whether this would be a potential site,” says Boyko.
TCLP says the plans are so new that any possible construction of the actual turbines would not happen until about three years, which is why meteorological or met towers are needed first.
Manthei Development says another possible site for the met tower could be in Marion Township just east of US 31, but the Norwood Township supervisor says it could have an impact for the region as a whole.
“I think we’re considered to be part of the wind belt. We have that resource possibly and that’s why towers need to be put up, so we can study that further,” says Boyko.
And Boyko says the idea of wind turbines may have pros and cons, but it’s something research will help to determine.
“It’s something that I think people are cautious about but definitely at the same time, I think this is something in our history where we have to investigate this,” says Boyko.
Boyko says the Norwood Township planning commission is currently drafting an ordinance for a permit to allow the meteorological towers to be constructed.
By Melissa Smith
16 May 2008
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