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DTE plan calls for turbines in Colfax, Meade

HURON COUNTY – DTE Energy is one of several developers with plans to construct new wind parks in the county.

DTE Energy spokesman Scott Simons said a project spanning portions of Colfax and Meade townships is under development, but that it is too early to talk about details and “hopefully in the next few weeks, we’ll have something to say.”

A completion date has been set for December 2015.

Colfax Township Supervisor David Howard said some turbines would be located in the northwest portion of the township, but that the majority will be in Meade Township.

“It’d be completely new for us,” Howard said. “We haven’t had any wind development.”

Howard said Colfax Township hasn’t seen wind development in part because of its proximity to the airport.

“We’ll hire consultants to help us through the process,” he said.

Jeff Smith, the county’s building and zoning director, said DTE has not submitted a site plan for the project. Smith said once completed and energized, turbines will be hooked to ITC Transmission’s 140-mile Thumb Loop high-voltage transmission line.

In a letter sent to landowners, DTE officials have invited those interested in being part of the project to attend an informational meeting scheduled for July 29 at the Franklin Inn to discuss a wind energy participation easement agreement, “which will compensate you for being within or near a wind park owned by DTE Energy.”

According to the letter, those attending will be given an overview of the project and officials will answer residents’ questions. The meeting is intended for landowners who currently do not have an agreement with DTE, the letter states.

Other wind projects are currently in development elsewhere around the county.

Smith said a site map submission had been planned for June or July for Geronimo Energy’s Apple Blossom Wind Project in Winsor and McKinley townships, but that the building and zoning office has not received anything yet. According to the developer’s website, it is a $200 million investment and may contain between 43 and 62 turbines with an operational capacity of 100 megawatts. Construction is slated to start next year.

“We know they’re getting close,” he said.

An additional 10 turbines are under construction at the Big Turtle Wind Farm in eastern Rubicon Township, covering an area of about 2.5 square miles, according to Heritage Wind Energy’s website. An anticipated completion date is set for the end of the year.

RES America’s Deerfield Energy Overlay Distrct was approved in October 2011. The area spans Dwight, Lincoln and Bloomfield townships, but is not currently developed, Smith said.

Consumers Energy has 15,000 acres leased in Sebewaing, Brookfield, Winsor and Grant townships, Smith said.

There were 160 turbines in the county at the end of 2012. There are now 318 wind turbines spread across eight wind parks, Smith said in May.