A renewable energy company is no longer pursuing a wind farm project in Baraga County.
Renewable Energy Systems had proposed erecting dozens of wind turbines in the Huron Mountains within L’Anse Township.
The proposal was strongly opposed by the Keweenaw By Indian Community and the Friends of the Huron Mountains.
A referendum was scheduled to appear on the May 7th ballot to change the wording of an ordinance which would open the way for the project.
In a press release, the company said continued delays in the planning process have ceased to make the project financially and logistically viable.
“After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to discontinue the development of the Summit Lake Wind project,” said Sean Stocker, RES Project Manager. “We have enjoyed working with the local community and want to thank all the landowners and supporters of the Summit Lake Wind project.”
At a public meeting at Northern Michigan University on Monday, KBIC president Warren C. Swartz, Jr. explained the tribe’s opposition to the project. “The Indian treaty rights are really important to us because that’s our way of life,” said Swartz. “And our way of life is really important to, not only me, but the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. And our way of life means the ability to go out and hunt, fish, trap, and gather, all of the things we’ve been afforded to all of the years, you know. And my people, and I especially, want to protect that.”
RES says in their press release that they are “the world’s largest independent renewable energy company and have been in business for over 35 years. We have delivered more than 16 GW of renewable energy capacity worldwide and will continue to lead the transition to a future where everyone has access to affordable zero carbon energy.”
“I would approve of solar any day over wind turbines,” said Swartz on Monday. “We did those feasibility studies and determined that wind just isn’t feasible.”
RES declined a request for further comment at this time.
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