AKRON – During two recent public hearings, the Akron Township Planning Commission approved some of the necessary steps for Consumers Energy’s (CE) to build Cross Winds Energy Park.
Preliminary approval was given for site plans to build 43 turbine locations, with two alternate locations, access roads, three meteorological towers, an electrical collection system, a lay-down yard as well as equipment and facilities in Sections 2 – 4, Sections 8-36 of the Akron Township.
During the first hearing, 21 turbines with one alternate site, one met tower, access roads and underground election collection were approved in Sections of the township west of Clark Road.
During the second hearing 22 turbines with an alternate site, two met towers, a lay-down yard, operations building and substation were approved for east of Clark Road.
The following is the layout of the wind farm west of Clark Road: Section 21 will have two turbines. Section 28 will have four turbines. Section 23 will have one. Section 27 will have three. Section 22 will have four turbines with an alternate site, and Section 15 will have one turbine.
The following is layout of the wind farm east of Clark Road: Section 2 will have two turbines and one met tower. Section 11 will have three turbines. Section 13 will have two. Section 14 will have two turbines and a substation and operations building. Section 23 will have one turbine. Section 24 will have two turbines with a alternate. Section 25 will have four turbines. Section 26 will have two turbines with a lay-down yard near the intersection of Clark and Cass City roads. Section 36 will have four turbines and a met tower.
One of the questions raised during the hearings was the location of access roads where there are two participating property owners side by side.
“According to the zoning ordinance, an access road will be built ‘along’ the property line… not on it,” said Spicer Group’s Project Planner Alan Bean noting there is still some fine tuning to the site plans that have to be done.
Bean explained CE’s plan is to start construction of access roads and turbine foundations this year, to start setting the turbines in 2014 and to complete the project that year.
Also, when the project is completed the lay-down yard, which is a temporary site to coordinate the project’s construction, will be removed.
With the site plans in Akron Township approved, the next step in the project is Columbia Township’s Planning Commission’s review of site plans for the portion of CE’s Cross Winds Energy Park in that township.
CE plans to build 19 turbines, with one alternate location, access roads, a meteorological tower, an electrical collection system and facilities in Sections 1- 36 of the township.
The commission will host a public hearing 4 p.m., Monday, to review site plans for that work.
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