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Wind turbine open house draws steady crowd  

Credit:  By David Frownfelder, Daily Telegram, www.lenconnect.com 5 October 2011 ~~

BLISSFIELD, Mich. – A scaled-back Blissfield Wind Energy project was put on public viewing at an open house Tuesday. A steady stream of people, for and against the project, went through the event at the Blissfield American Legion.

Great Lakes Wind LLC, a Lenawee County-based company, is working with Exelon Wind to set up a series of industrial wind turbines in southeastern Lenawee County. The project has been scaled back because of zoning issues in Riga and Palmyra townships.

“We have over 70 landowners and 37 turbines in Ogden Township,” project manager Doug Duimering said.

The Blissfield Wind Energy project would connect with the major power grid that runs along U.S. 223. The power generated by the turbines would be sold to Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison under Public Act 295 of 2008. The Clean, Renewable and Efficient Energy Act requires Michigan electric providers to achieve a supply of at least 10 percent renewable energy by 2015.

At this time, no turbines are slated for either Riga or Palmyra townships. Riga has a zoning ordinance in place restricting the turbines while Palmyra officials are still working on their ordinance. The Palmyra Township board is hosting a public hearing at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13 to hear comments on the ordinance.

Larry Gould, president of Great Lakes Wind, said turbines could be sited in Palmyra, but the company was not going to commit until an ordinance is in place.

“Our contract (with Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison) calls for delivery of energy in 2012,” Gould said. “We need at least 45 turbines to fulfill our contract.”

At the open house Tuesday, project officials set up information booths and had people available to answer questions on the economic impact, the environmental impact and the benefits of wind energy to Ogden Township residents as well as the economic benefits to Lenawee County. A computer-generated video showed how the landscape would look in Ogden with the wind turbines.

About 25 members of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition lined the driveway to the Legion with picket signs opposing the Blissfield Wind Energy Project. Inside, Joshua Nolan, one of the founders of the IICC, said he didn’t see any new information.

“It’s just the same old package with a new ribbon on it,” he said. “They are still trying to sell the 1,320-foot setback, the 45 decibels and the 30-hour-per-year shadow flicker.”

Source:  By David Frownfelder, Daily Telegram, www.lenconnect.com 5 October 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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