RUBICON TOWNSHIP – Developers expect to start installing 10 wind turbines at Big Turtle Wind Farm next week in eastern Huron County.
“We probably have about 75 percent of our major components on site now,” Rick Wilson, vice president of operations at Heritage Energy, told county planners on Wednesday.
Wilson said all roads, foundations and crane paths are built, but tower delivery issues have delayed the process for the last four weeks. Planners approved the $50 million wind turbine project in October last year.
Developers say the turbines will reach higher than 300 feet.
“These are big blades,” Wilson said. “But there’s no carbon fiber in them, so hopefully we can escape more lightning issues.”
Power from the farm will be sold to DTE Energy, which says the 20-megawatt output is enough to power 9,000 homes.
Wilson said in excess of 50 percent of the input to the project – including equipment – will be coming from Michigan companies. Trucks escorted along M-53 and M-142 in recent weeks have carried oversized loads of blades and other components marked with the logo “Gamesa” – Spain’s biggest wind turbine maker.
Blake Shroll will be site manager for the wind farm, which covers an area of about 2.5 square miles. Wilson said Heritage has leased 3,500 square-feet of a building a mile and a half west of Harbor Beach for office use, parts supply and warehouse.
Construction is expected to finish by the end of the year.
“We’re looking forward to having an increased presence in the community,” Wilson said. “So far, so good.”