The Huron County Planning Commission has rejected the annual wind energy facilities zoning compliance report submitted by Exelon Generation because of deficiencies with the sound report regarding Michigan Wind I, Harvest I and Harvest II wind farms.
“There is a standard they’re supposed to follow, and I believe the Exelon report is far from it,” Huron County Building and Zoning Director Jeff Smith said during the Planning Commission’s regular meeting Dec. 4.
Planning Commission Chair Clark Brock said Exelon failed to follow industry standards of integrity when testing turbine noise levels, especially when compared to the noise study submitted to the county by John Deere in 2009, which was compiled by Epsilon Associates, an unaffiliated, third-party environmental engineering and consulting company.
In that report, Epsilon detailed how and where turbine noise levels were measured. The Exelon report does not contain those details.
“I think we can tell them right up front that we’ve had documents from Epsilon that give that information in the past, and that’s what we expect,” Brock said. “We want a complete, accurate sound study done. … What they’ve presented, we say, does not meet our current ordinance.”
Paris Township resident Robert McLean asked the board to demand that Exelon hire a third-party, independent company to conduct the noise study, but he board declined.
“We’ll first give them the opportunity to give us the correct information,” Brock said.
McLean also asked the board to reconsider the zoning ordinance itself, saying the way is in direct conflict with noise standards around the world.
In other business during the meeting:
• The commission reported it will continue its efforts of preparing the Huron County Airport Zoning Ordinance pursuant to a Huron County Board of Commissioners resolution.
• The commission heard an update regarding the Echo Wind Farm turbine failure from DTE representative Matt Wagner. He said the wind park has stopped all turbines until it gets conclusive results from General Electric, which manufactured the blade that broke Nov. 7. He said GE has been very transparent with DTE, but the company has asked that DTE keep quiet about preliminary findings until the investigation is complete.
• Brock reported that Brookfield Township Clerk, Michael Lorencz, has filed a claim of appear regarding his lawsuit against Brookfield Township, which was dismissed by Huron County Circuit Court Judge M. Richard Knoblock.
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