RIGA TWP., Mich. – A final draft ordinance covering wind turbines in Riga Township is still a long way from completion.
Members of the township planning commission will take information presented Monday by two wind energy companies and continue work on drafting the ordinance.
“It’s going to take some time to get our arms around these,” commission chairman Reg Karg said. “We will look at their red-lined copies and our draft ordinance and come up with something.”
Peter Endres, director of project development for juwi Wind US Corp. of Cleveland, and Doug Duimering, business development manager for Exelon Corp., presented proposals to the planning commission for setback, flicker effect and noise level requirements. Exelon recently bought John Deere, which was affiliated with Great Lakes LLC, the second wind power company.
Endres said his company is seeking to put 55 wind turbines in Riga Township and Great Lakes is looking at up to 45 turbines in Riga, Ogden and Palmyra townships. Orisol Energy US Inc. is developing a wind turbine project in Ogden and Fairfield townships.
Endres said juwi wants to work with the township to develop ordinances that are fair to both the residents and the company.
“Our proposed wind farm in Riga will deliver numerous economic benefits,” Endres said. “We would be the single greatest taxpayer (in the township).”
Juwi’s project would generate $23 million in taxes over the 20-year contract with power companies, he said. Blissfield Community Schools would realize about $190,000 per year in tax revenue from the project.
Duimering said the flicker, setback and noise levels Exelon is proposing are the result of research and are considered safe levels by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They are also designed to limit the number of complaints from residents, he said.
Karg asked both companies to supply electronic copies of their proposals to Michael Homier, the attorney helping Riga draw up the ordinance. Homier will put together another piece of the ordinance for the planning commission to review at the Feb. 7 meeting.
Both Great Lakes LLC and juwi have 20-year agreements to supply power for Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison. Michigan is one of 35 states with renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that 10 percent of the state’s energy must be from renewable sources by 2015.
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