UNIONVILLE – The steps to expand a wind farm in northern Tuscola County continue.
The Akron Township Planning Commission will host a public hearing at 4 p.m., Wednesday at the township hall, 4280 Bay City-Forestville Road, Unionville.
That hearing is for a special use permit for a utility grid wind energy system for the Consumers Energy Company.
The special use permit application is for five collector (circuit) line to connect to an existing substation on West Hoppe Road.
In September, Consumers Energy officials filed paperwork for special use permits for 19 turbines to be built as phase two of their Cross Winds Energy Park, and there is a possibility that 33 more turbines could be built later if phase three is developed.
The proposals for phase two and three consist of up to 52 wind turbines, but the exact number of turbines to be built in each phase is subject to change, according to Consumers Energy Community Engagement Manager Dennis Marvin.
All of the turbines in the next phases would be located in Columbia Township.
Construction of phase two is expected to be in the spring of 2017 and to become operational at the end of that year. If the plan works out, phase three is expected to be constructed and operational in 2019.
When the turbines become operational, they would be hooked into the underground collector lines in Akron Township to connect with the grid at the existing Cross Winds substation on West Hoppe Road.
The first phase of Cross Winds Energy Park was completed in 2014 and consisted of 65 turbines in Akron and Columbia townships. Of that number, 19 turbines are in Columbia.
For those who cannot attend the hearing, written comment can be sent to the Akron Township Hall, 4280 Bay City – Forestville Road, Unionville, MI, 48767.
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