The Matteson Township Planning Commission Wednesday approved an amendment to its zoning ordinance “to permit wind energy conversion systems, and to establish regulations and standards for them.”
The regulation, which requires all wind turbines to get special use permits, will go the township board March 4.
Toledo attorney Joshua Nolan, representing Concerned Citizens of Branch County, objected to DTE claims which had circulated in a letter around the township.
“You have every right to protect your residents,” he said.
The special meeting came at the request of DTE which said substantial changes had been made since the original hearing.
The manager of DTE Renewable Energy Matthew Wagner sent that letter to the commission. It outlines its opposition to the ordinance, along with a map of signed leases from the east Michigan power company.
The map showed the approved setbacks and siting requirement would not allow use of any of the leases, which cover almost 50 percent of the township land.
The company which operates 14 wind parks in the state said the 328-foot height limit as measured from the tip of the vertical blade prevents the turbine from reaching wind resources. He said 500 feet is more typical in the state.
“The proposed maximum is strong evidence of a desire to preclude utility-scale wind energy production in the township,” Wagner said.
The ordinance requires a setback of 1.25 miles from the property line of a non-leased parcel, which among other setbacks DTE finds excessive.
“We are confident the cumulative effect of these setbacks will not leave any land available for potential wind turbine siting,” he wrote.
The letter also attacked regulation of sound pressure levels and flicker from blade rotation. DTE said the $2 million per unit liability and $1 million cash deposit to secure decommissioning were excessive.
Nolan said sound levels are appropriate.
“There is a clear correlation between noise and annoyance. You have every right to create regulation against annoyance,” he said.
Nolan also pointed out there are no guidelines adopted by the state for wind turbines. He said “there are commercial wind turbines manufactured within your height limit. You have a right to set a height limit appropriate to health and safety.”