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Planners get progress reports on wind energy projects

BAD AXE – The Huron County Planning Commission got an update on the progress of several wind parks Wednesday night.

Jeff Smith, Huron County director of Building and Zoning relayed that DTE wind turbine projects in McKinley, Sigel and Minden townships are 98.8 percent finished.

• There is one turbine left to finish of the 20 in Minden Township.

• Smith said he believed all 40 Sigel Township turbines are constructed. Thirty-eight of them are mechanically complete.

• In the McKinley project, all nine wind turbines are constructed. Eight are electrically complete, and six are mechanically complete.

Smith said that he believed some of the turbines in Sigel had been pre-commissioned and that circuit one was test run in the last week.

DTE submitted a copy of final bond paperwork to the commission for its one additional Echo Wind Farm turbine located in McKinley Township.

The wind farm is mostly located in Chandler and Oliver townships, but needed approval from the commission for the one turbine because McKinley is under the county’s zoning jurisdiction.

The turbine cost a revised amount from $1.6 million to $1.7 million, and will be constructed in 2013.

Smith also read parts of a letter from the Exelon Corp. regarding its Harvest Wind II development:

• All 33 of its turbines are commissioned.

• The company is in the process of finalizing the tension on some of its tower bolts, after tensioning all the bolts on Dec. 3.

• Smith’s office will be meeting with Exelon to examine all Harvest II wind turbines based on building permit standards.

• The company is looking to obtain a temporary office in Elkton devoted to the project, to go with its Soper Road Office in Bad Axe.