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Meeting planned to discuss data gathering for wind farm

Wind energy farms are stirring up a lot of interest throughout the Thumb.

The Almer Charter Township Planning Commission will have a public hearing at the township hall, 1310 Cameron Rd., at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 6. The hearing is on a special use permit requested by Consumers Energy. The company wants to place a meteorological tower in the township.

“They are considering putting up a windmill farm if the study shows they can. Right now, they want to put up a tower to gather data. They want to study on wind speeds and currents,” said Almer Township Planning Commission Chair Brian Schriber. “As far as I know, they haven’t picked out a location in the township yet.”

According to Schriber, their request is for a temporary structure.

“They just want to gather data with the tower for two years before they make any kind of decision,” he said.

Michigan is very pro- renewable energy. Energy companies like Consumers are being urged to develop renewable energy sources by 2015 or face fines.

Last winter, Tuscola County Commissioners were approached by a Consumers Energy representative about doing testing for a possible wind farm outside of Caro off M-24. The company was interested in 173 acres of county land in Almer Township

At that meeting, a Consumers Energy representative said the company hopes to build four to eight wind farms with each farm having between 20 to 40 wind turbines, which would cost $2-$3 million to build. But Tuscola County Commissioners said they wanted more information before making a decision.

There hasn’t been a meeting with the county since then.

There is already one wind energy farm in Huron County, and another is under construction.

By Mary Drier

tuscolatoday.com

26 July 2008