OGDEN TOWNSHIP – Going green has been a trend in recent years and now many communities, and businesses, are trying to embrace more eco-friendly projects.
A proposal to bring dozens of wind turbines to southeastern Michigan has not been so successful.
For almost two years, residents of Lenawee County have managed to stall projects in several local townships slated to be a part of the Blissfield Wind Energy Project.
The initiative is a joint venture by Great Lakes Wind and Exelon.
Exelon’s involvement in the project has been one of the issues of contention for the opposition.
Outside an open house held to give residents of Ogden Township more information on the turbines, Tuesday evening, protestors held signs reading “Exelon Owns 3-Mile Island”.
The Pennsylvania Property is notorious for a 1979 core meltdown at Unit 2 of the Nuclear Generating Station which, according to Wikipedia, was owned and operated by General Public Utilities and Metropolitan Edison (Met Ed).
Exelon owns Unit 1 at the same site and operates the same pressurized water reactor, designed by Babcock and Wilcox, involved in 3-Mile Island disaster decades ago.
Tuesday’s open house, however, was an attempt by Exelon to show Ogden residents that the company is working to make the turbines as little of a safety and health concern as possible.
“We think when they see the project and how we have designed it, to be very low impact on the community, I think we are going to get more support,” said Doug Duimering of Exelon.
Those opposed to the project have also expressed concern over potential health issues and the impact the turbines may have on local wildlife.
Some say they have been requesting specifics on the project, from those involved with it, for more than a year and claim the concessions being made now are just a last ditch effort to keep the plan alive.
“The wind developer came out today promising news that they would, after 2 years, finally reveal the location of the 45 or so wind turbines they want to build. We are here wanting to know why they couldn’t answer that question 2 years ago”, said Joshua Nolan of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition.
For those still undecided, the open house was an opportunity to become better informed on the proposal and make their own decision on the controversy.
“I think this wind farm will bring needed revenue to the area,” said open house attendee Paul Wohlfarth.
The Riga Township resident, who says he was once on the fence about the proposal added, “I think there’s been too much naysaying about the project”.
The revised proposal does offer residents more incentives to approve the plan including the promise of tax dollars, jobs and other provisions they say will limit the health concerns publicized by the opposition.
Proposals to build wind turbines are also under consideration in nearby Palmyra and Riga Township.
A wind ordinance will be on the ballot in Riga on November 8th.
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