Despite claims on social media, no power plant is being built in northern Isabella County, but a wind farm is in the early stages of development.
A post on the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition Facebook page on May 10 indicated that “the northern townships of Isabella County are about to be converted to a 60 story power plant” and that the county would be entering into an agreement with Apex Clean Energy to build 100 wind turbines in northern Isabella County.
The information posted came from an April 21 Central Michigan Life article quoting Isabella County district 5 commissioner James Moreno.
However, Moreno said Wednesday that he was misquoted in the article and that he “never said” what was stated in the Facebook post.
“The negotiations are between the owners of the land and Apex Clean Energy (for the Isabella Wind project),” Moreno said.
He also indicated the county is not signing any agreement with Apex Clean Energy regarding the project.
According to Cat Strumlauf, Apex public affairs associate, no power plant is being built in Isabella County.
However, the company is developing Isabella Wind, a 400 megawatt wind farm that would power 93,000 homes, for potential location east of Weidman.
It is on track for completion and for commercial operations to begin in 2020, according to Apex’s website.
Moreno provided The Morning Sun with an Apex Clean Energy powerpoint presentation given at the most recent meeting of the Isabella County chapter of the Michigan Townships Association.
The presentation indicated that a 115 to 200 turbine wind farm is scheduled to built in an area encompassing Deerfield, Denver, Isabella, Nottawa, Vernon and Wise townships on 40,000 acres of private land.
“Right now, the project is in the very early stages of development, so we haven’t gathered enough information to select the turbine model or determine the exact number of turbines,” Strumlauf wrote in an email Wednesday.
The project schedule indicates MET Towers installed project engineering will take place this year, and community input/permitting will take place this year and into next year.
Construction and operations will be started next year and into 2020.
Strumlauf wrote that the Isabella Wind project will create up to 10 full-time local jobs for operations and maintenance and will “generate an entirely new source of long-term revenue in the millions of dollars for local schools, government services, and property owners.”
Additionally, she wrote that during construction, the project will generate hundreds of jobs and significant local spending.
The power point presentation indicated that in the first year of operations, the project will bring in more than $1.5 million in combined tax revenue for every 10 turbines to the municipalities, based on a cost of $1.8 million per turbine.
The life of a turbine project is about 20 years, according to the presentation.
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