A crowd of around 200 people gathered Wednesday evening at the Huron County Expo Center for a public hearing held by the Huron County Planning Commission. It was pertaining to DTE Energy’s attempt to construct a new wind energy project in areas of Bloomfield, Dwight, Lincoln and Sigel Townships, which are all zoned by the county. This was the first step in the process of establishing a wind energy overlay district.
DTE Wind Energy Manager Matt Wagner spoke before the public comment period and said the project would possibly include 50 to 70 turbines. That will depend on the size of the turbines potentially used in the project. Wagner also addressed some of the common controversial issues that have come up regarding wind energy such as alleged health concerns and lower property values. He said there is no evidence he is aware of to back up those claims. Wagner also stated that the latest discussion about capping wind energy altogether in Huron County has effectively already happened, in his opinion, with the latest update to the county’s Wind Energy Ordinance late last year. He said naturally, less turbines will be constructed with the new restrictions.
During public comment and correspondence read from letters and emails, the issue was nearly evenly split for those in favor or opposed to the project, or wind energy in general. 32 people said they were against wind energy and 27 said they were in favor.
The Planning Commission voted to table the matter until they can go through more documents. They will schedule a special meeting to vote on the wind overlay district zoning. They may set the date for that meeting at the next regular meeting, which takes place next Wednesday, April 6th. No other discussion on the matter will happen before that special meeting.