GILFORD – The Gilford Township Planning Commission will hold site plan reviews for wind turbine development over the next couple of weeks.
NextEra Energy plans to develop 63 wind turbines in the Gilford Township area. The first hearing on the proposed Utility Grind Wind Energy system is 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 20. The hearing will review the plan to build 13 turbines in the area south of Deckerville Road and north of Van Geisen Road in Sections 28 – 32 of the township.
The next hearing will be 5 p.m., Monday, Feb. 27. That hearing will review the plan to build 21 turbines south of Darbee Road and North of Deckerville Road in Sections 14-17, and 19-21 of the township.
Then, there will be a site plan hearing 5 p.m., Monday, March 5, to review a plan to build 29 turbines and an anemometer in the area south of Akron Road and north of Darbee Road in Sections 1-3, 5, 7-11 in the township.
Each meeting will be at the Gilford Township Hall at 6230 W. Gilford Road.
The plans can be reviewed during township office hours or downloaded from spicerplanners.wordpress.com. The township hired Spicer Group to coordinate the evaluation of material on development of the wind farms.
Besides developing wind power in Gilford Township, NextEra also plans to build nine turbines in Merritt Township and to build seven in Blumfield Township.
The towers NextEra plan to build would be 252-feet tall to the hub with an overall height of about 430 feet with the blades. The company plans to invest over $250 million to build 75-79, 120 megawatt wind generators in the area.
Development of renewable energy is a priority because state lawmakers mandated energy companies have at least 10 percent of their power come from renewable sources by 2015.
When that was decided, the Wind Energy Resource Zoning Board was developed to study the state’s resources.
The board determined certain areas of the state were suitable for wind development; and Zone Four, which is the Thumb area, showed the most promise for development. The townships in Zone Four are Akron, Almer, Columbia, Denmark, Gilford and Wisner. Each township has energy companies proposing development.
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