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Huron County planners have packed agenda

BAD AXE – County planners are looking at a full schedule for their monthly meeting Wednesday, including reviews for two wind projects and expansion of another.

Also on the agenda is a site plan review for Bay Shore Camp in Sebewaing, which is proposing a new 7,500-square-foot retreat lodge building, and review of a proposed bean receiving station at Cooperative Elevator Co. in Ruth.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the board of commissioners room in the Huron County Building (Room 305).

RES Americas is scheduled to present revised plans for its Deerfield Wind Project. The 72-turbine spread would encompass Bloomfield, Dwight, Huron and Lincoln townships. The developer briefly presented to the county on Tuesday plans to deconstruct turbines once they’ve reached longevity – part of required decommissioning bonding for all projects. Planners say that information was missing during a February review of the project.

Geronimo Energy is scheduled to give updated plans for its Apple Blossom Wind Project. The developer plans about 50 turbines in Winsor and McKinley townships. Planners gave the project conditional approval in December, pending documents for revised setback distances, surety bonds and collection line depths. The developer’s plan for turbines within three miles of the shoreline has faced scrutiny from residents, county officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Both projects got the OK to continue if the county imposes a moratorium on wind energy for up to six months – that vote is scheduled to come Thursday morning after two hearings in the Huron County Circuit Courtroom.

The 10-turbine, Big Turtle Wind Farm in Rubicon Township was approved in 2013. Construction wrapped up near the end of 2014. Now, developer Heritage Energy plans to add 15 more turbines, in Bloomfield and Rubicon townships. A presentation and site plan review is scheduled for Wednesday’s meeting.

Planners also intend to give an update on revisions of the county’s wind ordinance. A committee has been working for more than a year on updates to the entire ordinance, including regulation for setbacks, noise and shadow flicker.