GILFORD TOWNSHIP, MI – NextEra Energy was denied a permit to place wind turbines in Merritt Township earlier this year. Now officials are weighing the pros and cons of placing the wind turbines in Tuscola County.
“The reason we are looking at placing additional turbines in Gilford is because the Merritt Township Planning Commission turned them down,” said Gilford Township supervisor Jim Stockmeyer.
The Gilford Township Planning Commission is conducting a public hearing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, in the auditorium at Reese High School, 1696 Van Buren Road.
The Commission will hear all interested parties on the request for a special use permit for a “utility grid wind energy system” in the agricultural zoning district.
The proposed project includes one anemometer, eight sites to place five wind turbines and related facilities capable of producing a total rated output of 12.8 megawatts.
Stockmeyer said that the decision is up to the Planning Commission, but he thinks it could be approved. After Merritt’s denial of the permit, he said that opposition to the wind farm in Gilford has grown.
Last year, the commission approved the placement of 63 wind turbines in the township. Seven wind turbines were also approved in Saginaw County’s Blumfield Township. NextEra’s proposed wind project includes the placement of 75 wind turbines between Gilford and Blumfield Townships.
“There is a group of people that is working to fight the project,” Stockmeyer said. “Maybe they spoke with citizens from Merritt who were against it – before there was no opposition, but there is some now.”
The special use permit application is available for review at the Gilford Township Hall, 6230 W. Gilford in Fairgrove, during regular business hours.
NextEra Energy is expected to begin construction on the wind farm in May.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding