[ exact phrase in "" • results by date ]

[ Google-powered • results by relevance ]


Add NWW headlines to your site (click here)

Get weekly updates

when your community is targeted


RSS feeds and more

Keep Wind Watch online and independent!

Donate via Paypal

Donate via Stripe

Selected Documents

All Documents

Research Links


Press Releases


Campaign Material

Photos & Graphics


Allied Groups

Wind Watch is a registered educational charity, founded in 2005.

News Watch Home

Muskegon County awaits developer’s signature for potential wind farm 

Credit:  By Eric Gaertner | Muskegon Chronicle, www.mlive.com 13 January 2012 ~~

MUSKEGON COUNTY – The wind-farm agreement that would allow for a private developer to research erecting large wind turbines on Muskegon County’s wastewater site remains unsigned.

The delay by the private development team in executing the lease agreement, which was approved by the Muskegon County Board of Public Works and Board of Commissioners 11 weeks ago, has sparked questions from some Public Works Board members. The subject was discussed briefly again Thursday at a Public Works Board meeting.

Wastewater Director Mark Eisenbarth outlined to the Public Works Board that two issues have led to the delay in gaining the signature from Gamesa Energy USA, an international leader in the wind-energy industry and leader of the county’s proposed development team. He said Gamesa is still working on an internal agreement with Scandia Wind Offshore for creating the new Muskegon Wind LLC, and Gamesa also is in the midst of developing a billion-dollar contract on a different wind farm project.

County Administrator Bonnie Hammersley said she talked with a Gamesa representative this week and “we’re being told it’s going to happen.

“We’ve been given all indications by Gamesa that the holiday season slowed them down,” Hammersley said. “They are not indicating any problems with the lease that would keep it from happening.”

The lease agreement, once signed, would give Muskegon Wind, led by Gamesa, exclusive rights to research and investigate the suitability for constructing a wind farm on the wastewater site in eastern Muskegon County. In exchange for exclusivity, the development team would pay thousands of dollars annually to the county.

County Commissioner John Snider, who serves on the Public Works Board, said the county needs to keep the pressure on to get the agreement signed.

“This is kind of silly,” Snider said. “We didn’t give the contract based on (the private-developer partnership). We gave it based on one, Gamesa.”

The Chronicle has been unable to reach Bill Smeaton, senior project developer for Gamesa Energy USA, for comment about the delay.

Gamesa Energy USA is a subsidiary of a Spanish wind-turbine manufacturer and wind-farm developer. The company currently has four wind farms, two manufacturing plants and five offices in the United States.

More specifics about the developer’s plans for the site are expected to be made public after the lease is signed. Based on the county’s working concept in discussion for years, a 100-megawatt, $300 million wind farm would be built if the project is deemed feasible based on wind speeds being researched.

County officials have cited several expected benefits to the community, including: lease payments for the wastewater fund; personal-property taxes that would go through the typical allocation formula to all taxing entities; generating work in the industry for some local businesses; and possible expansion of the wind farm to interested, nearby property owners. Some concerns have been raised about the potential loss of the personal-property taxes if the state eliminates them.

Once signed, the development term of the lease allows for completion of the necessary studies, including environmental, and pursuit of a long-term contract to sell the generated power. The first two years’ payments, more than $100,000, must be paid to the county in advance and are nonrefundable, according to the agreement.

Source:  By Eric Gaertner | Muskegon Chronicle, www.mlive.com 13 January 2012

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding
   Donate via Paypal
(via Paypal)
Donate via Stripe
(via Stripe)


e-mail X FB LI TG TG Share

News Watch Home

Get the Facts
© National Wind Watch, Inc.
Use of copyrighted material adheres to Fair Use.
"Wind Watch" is a registered trademark.


Wind Watch on X Wind Watch on Facebook

Wind Watch on Linked In Wind Watch on Mastodon