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Residents to learn, offer input for Tupper Lake Wind Energy Project open house

LAKE ODESSA, Mich. – To gain support for a proposal to install wind turbines near Lake Odessa, Air Energy TCI (AET) will hold an open house to allow community members to learn more about the project, the process and how the project will fit into the landscape.

The open house for the Tupper Lake Wind Energy Project will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Sebewa Township Hall, located at 2975 E. Bippley Road.

“We will be displaying some information on wind in general, project specifics and information about our company,” said Development Manager Huw Roberts. “We will have members of staff from TCI renewables in addition to environmental consultants.”

The proposal is for up to 50 wind turbines, generating up to 80 megawatts of energy. The proposed project will have a life expectancy of 25 years, and Roberts said that the company is targeting a start date of construction in 2012.

“We hope, although there are many hurdles first to cross, our target is 2012,” said Roberts.

Currently, environmental studies that are required are underway, including ecology, habitat, noise, visual and aviation.

“We have 100 landowners on board with the project,” said Roberts. “We are undergoing environmental studies to aid us on the permitting path right now.”

Aside from producing enough renewable, clean energy to power roughly 22,000 homes, it will also help the local economy.

“It’s a great economic boost to the area in terms of the people who will be sharing in the project, from the landowners … to the townships and the county,” said Roberts. “Also, local businesses will benefit greatly from the construction phase from the influx of staff . There will also be some highly skilled, full-time jobs after (the project) is constructed and operating.”

Development work began in 2008, and since then AET employees have been working with landowners, township boards, county commissioners, roads, drains and planning departments and state and federal officials.

Roberts explained that AET is working on were to place the turbines so they do not interfere with local residents.

“We will be taking strides to ensure that we strategically place the turbines in an area where they don’t have a negative impact on the local (community),” said Roberts.

For more information, visit www.tcirenewables.com.