BLISSFIELD – One of several firms involved in a proposed wind farm in three Lenawee County townships has suspended its plans for 45 wind turbines and is instead pursuing a project elsewhere in Michigan, a company representative said Friday.
Bob Judge, manager of communications for Exelon Power, the parent of Exelon Wind, said his company has asked that its Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement with Consumers Power be reassigned to projects in Ionia and Gratiot counties – northwest and north of Lansing, respectively – because turbines can’t be erected in Lenawee County this year as required by the purchase agreement.
A Lenawee County project could still be considered in the future, Mr. Judge said.
Riga Township officials last summer adopted zoning rules for wind turbines that Exelon officials said were so restrictive as to prevent their project from being developed. A referendum, advanced by turbine supporters, to overturn the zoning rules was defeated by township residents Nov. 8.
Exelon’s proposed turbines were among more than 200 that it and several other developers proposed for Riga and neighboring Ogden and Palmyra townships. Ogden and Fairfield Township, also nearby, have placed moratoria on wind development while they deliberate on zoning regulations.
The proposed developments have divided the communities, with some landowners eager to collect rent from wind turbines on their property while neighbors object to prospects for noise, vibration, and “shadow flicker” from the turbines’ spinning blades at sunrise and sunset.
At nearly 500 feet, the towers would be taller than any building in Toledo, and the Federal Aviation Administration objected to the southernmost parts of the development as being too close to the restricted airspace at Toledo Express Airport. The southerly towers also aroused opposition from densely settled subdivisions in Sylvania Township.