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Lake Winds construction to resume, Mason County wind farm to be completed by year’s end  

Credit:  By Dave Alexander, www.mlive.com 8 April 2012 ~~

LUDINGTON – Motorists traveling in southwestern Mason County are advised to be aware of the heavy construction activity in Riverton and Summit townships in conjunction with the Lake Winds Energy Park.

Consumers Energy’s 56-turbine commercial wind farm construction will continue this month. Contractors last fall and early winter completed 25 turbine foundations and about a third of the associated underground electrical system needed for the $235 million wind energy development.

Lead contractor White Construction Inc. and its subcontractors will resume work on the turbine foundations and electrical systems in the coming days. By the end of May, Consumers anticipates turbine parts to be delivered to a “lay-down” area off Pere Marquette Highway and actual assembly of the units will begin.

The project schedule calls for construction to be completed by the end of the year and the Lake Winds Energy Park to be generating electricity at that time. By the end of the year, the Lake Winds power will bring Consumers to 8 percent of its electricity coming from renewable sources, nearly reaching the state mandated goal of 10 percent by 2015, company officials said.

As required in its Mason County special use permit for the Lake Winds Energy Park, Consumers has recently mailed out a general construction announcement to all residents in Riverton and Summit townships, company officials said.

The message is “safety first” for all Mason County motorists who need to be alert for large construction equipment and the transport of the large turbine components. The Lake Winds turbines will be 476-feet tall at the turbine blade tip.

“Consumers Energy and its contractors are committed to the safe building and operation of the Lake Winds Energy Park,” according to Bill Schoenlein, manager of the company’s hydroelectric and renewable generation. “A key part of our commitment to safety is openly communicating about construction activity that residents may encounter.”

Several rural roads and intersections in the two townships south of Ludington will be improved as part of the construction process, Consumers officials said.

“Our construction sites are clearly identified with road construction signs,” Schoenlein said. “Please use extra caution when driving in a work zone. The operators of the construction vehicles will be exercising caution as well.”

Consumers Energy has a Lake Winds toll-free public information line to keep residents and motorists advised concerning updates for road use and construction traffic. The number is 1-855-352-5394.

General information about the project can be found on the company’s website: www.lakewindsengergypark.com. The public can contact company officials through email at lakewindsenergypark@cmsenergy.com.

Source:  By Dave Alexander, www.mlive.com 8 April 2012

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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