UPPER THUMB – DTE Energy is in the process of garnering final site plan review approval for its Echo Wind Farm, which will consist of about 70 turbines in the Elkton area in mostly Chandler and Oliver townships.
Earlier this week, the Chandler Township Board of Trustees supported the township planning commission’s recommendation to approve the construction of 60 wind turbines, two MET towers and one substation, said Chandler Township Supervisor William Renn.
Renn said the site approval process went pretty smooth, and the project received support from local residents.
“The residents of Chandler have supported the wind projects right from the beginning,” he said, noting this will be third wind project constructed in Chandler Township.
In addition to the 60 turbines in Chandler Township, DTE is looking to build nine turbines in Oliver Township as well as one in McKinley Township.
Oliver Township Clerk Lawrence C. Krohn said the township planning commission is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 25, to review DTE’s application.
Because McKinley Township is under the county’s zoning jurisdiction, the Huron County Planning Commission will have to approve the utility’s site plan before the single turbine can be built there.
Jeff Smith, Huron County Building and Zoning director, said the planning commission is set to meet at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 to conduct the site plan review.
The Echo Wind Farm will be DTE’s fourth wind park in the Thumb. The project’s construction contractor will be Barton Malow and the turbines will be supplied by General Electric, according to information from Wednesday’s Huron County Planning Commission meeting.
Barton Malow currently is constructing DTE’s three other wind farms in the area, which are sited on nearly 15,000 acres in Bloomfield, Sigel and McKinley townships in Huron County, and Minden and Delaware townships in Sanilac County.
As has occurred with the creation of previous wind developments, construction activities have benefited the local economy. According to reports from Barton Malow and DTE, total spending to local vendors in just the month of August was more than $5 million.
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