Heritage Wind Farm is ready to move forward for a busy 2011 in Missaukee County.
On Tuesday, Alan Kostrzewa of Heritage Sustainable Energy spoke at the Missaukee County Board of Commissioners meeting to give an update of what the company had done the previous year, as well as what is planned for 2011.
Kostrzewa also talked about why the board needed to approve wind farms as viable land for P.A. 116.
The Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, otherwise known as P.A. 116, is designed to preserve farmland and open space through agreements that restrict development, and provide tax incentives for program participation.
On Tuesday, the board was asked to make a minor change to allow for wind farms to be included in the program.
The county has received nine new applications for P.A. 116 that the proposal change would impact. Basically, Vivian said the landowners have asked for the change because they want to make sure the one acre that is being used for the wind farm stays in P.A. 116.
The board voted unanimously to approve including wind farms in P.A. 116.
Kostrzewa said there are 19 working turbines up and will be nine built this year, including five in Richland Township and four in Highland Township in Osceola County.
“We have 19 producing, with nine coming in 2011, for a total of 28. Once those nine are built that will halt what we do (in the area) for a while,” he said.
Even though the ground is covered by snow, Kostrzewa said things are on schedule with the roads already built and ground leveled. Once the temperatures warm and snow melts, he added, the rest of the turbine construction should begin in May.
Kostrzewa said during the process of building the turbines, the communities they reside in have been wonderful. He also said there could be some programming dealing with turbines coming to local learning institutions such as Baker College.
“It is the way of the future. Renewable energy is a potential job-creating industry in Michigan,” he said.
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