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Wind farm opposed in Shiawassee County

Over the past several years, we have seen hundreds of wind turbines built in Mid-Michigan and the Thumb, but a proposal to create a new wind farm is meeting with some resistance.

There are people in northwestern Shiawassee County that live in a quiet, rural setting. They don’t like the noise and flicker that would come with a wind farm and they don’t like the lack of notice they were given.

Apex Clean Energy has built this tower to measure wind speeds northwest of Owosso. On the company’s website, they say the area under consideration is ideal for the project they have in mind. Thirty-60 wind turbines would be built in these farm fields beginning in 2017.

Not everyone is in favor of it.

“We just had a township meeting last Thursday and there were people that had just found out the day prior. We had approximately 75 attend that meeting,” said Lois Walker, of Rush Township.

Walker says neighbors found out by accident and feel Apex Clean Energy hasn’t been transparent out the project.

“Our neighbors are very upset. Of course, the farmers that are signed up are also for it,” Walker said.

Those who oppose the project say it could drive down the home values, but the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership says wind turbines can bring money to the area.

“It presents the opportunity to get some very significant property tax revenue for our local governments and importantly for our local schools,” said Justin Horvath, the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership CEO.

Walker says she and her neighbors are exploring avenues to fight the project.

If the company carries through with the project, the wind turbines could create enough electricity to power 32,000 homes.