Homeowners in Branch County are fighting back against a group looking to build a giant wind park near their homes.
DTE Energy has secured lease agreements with landowners for more than 30,000 acres of land in the county as of Thursday night, according to DTE Energy spokesperson Cindy Hecht.
Dozens of people against the plans packed the St. Mary’s School gym in Bronson. They voiced concerns to the Matteson Township Planning Commission.
“These things are huge,” Jennifer Milligan, a Branch County resident, said. “There’s nothing that even compares in size.”
“The turbines being the size that they are infringe on our property value, our quality of life, they would more than double our noise level,” Pamela Reed, with Concerned Citizens of Branch County, said.
DTE Energy said they need enough land to build anywhere between 30 to 60 turbines to move forward with plans to build a wind park. The company has already built 277 turbines and 13 wind parks total since investing in the industry.
They said fears from residents are overblown.
“We certainly empathize with the residents of communities who are considering wind,” Hecht said. “Things that are unfamiliar can be scary and we understand that.”
Homeowners said they’re fighting for their quality of life.
“I lived in Detroit, I lived in Chicago, there’s a reason why we come here,” Gary Chester, a Union Township resident, said. “We came to live amongst the trees and the quiet and the rural community.”
DTE Energy said they are still very early in the process and it could be five to six years before any potential project is completed.
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