The recent sale of a Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) wind turbine on M-72 to Heritage Sustainable Energy has raised legal concerns about the terms of the transaction.
Elmwood Township Supervisor Jack Kelly emailed both companies on December 31 pointing out there are deed restrictions on the property, including that the turbine “not be transferred to anyone other than a public utility” and that the equipment must be removed within 90 days if at any point its use is discontinued. Kelly requested written documentation that Heritage is a public utility; if it is not, he continued, the company must go through a planning commission process to remove that sales condition from the property. Kelly also requested formal written acknowledgment that as a successor to TCL&P, Heritage understood it was bound to the conditions on the turbine governing its removal if it not in use.
Vice President of Operations for Heritage Rick Wilson responded to Kelly’s request by email Friday, noting that “per the term of our agreements for the purchase and operation of the wind turbine, we are bound to decommission the wind turbine should it become inoperable.” He also noted Heritage provides wholesale electrical power generation to Michigan utility companies and plans to continue selling the power generated by the M-72 turbine to TCL&P.
“We will work diligently to address the concerns that you…have outlined in order to be fully compliant with the Elmwood Township ordinance,” Wilson wrote. TCL&P Executive Director Tim Arends also emailed Kelly to say the utility “will address the township’s concerns.”
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