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Proposed Muskegon County wind farm lease signed  

Credit:  By Eric Gaertner, www.mlive.com 7 May 2012 ~~

Muskegon County has a signed lease agreement for potential construction of a wind farm on its wastewater site.

Gamesa Energy USA, a subsidiary of a Spanish-based wind farm developer and wind-turbine manufacturer, recently executed a lease agreement with the county that allows the private company exclusive rights to investigate the possibility of erecting commercial-sized wind turbines on the 11,000-acre Muskegon County Wastewater System.

If Gamesa deems the project is feasible, a 150-megawatt wind farm would be constructed. Studies will be needed to determine if the wind speeds are strong enough for cost-effective energy production and for turbine placement in regard to birds.

The Board of Public Works and Board of Commissioners are set to consider final approval of the lease agreement, including an addendum, at meetings Thursday afternoon.

County officials have previously estimated the value of the project at about $300 million.

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.

The Chronicle is continuing to develop this story. Check back to MLive.com.

Source:  By Eric Gaertner, www.mlive.com 7 May 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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