HURON TOWNSHIP – Huron Township could be looking at having more wind turbines within its boundaries in the future.
Site permits have reportedly been filed in the township to build more turbines by Algonquin Power, the parent company of Liberty Energy and owners of the Deerfield Wind Farm that stretches across Huron, Lincoln, Dwight, and Bloomfield townships.
Al Wichert, the zoning administrator for the township, said the company cannot act further until the township gets more information about the site plan and permits. They do not have confirmed information yet about how many turbines are planned, how big they will be, or how much power they will generate.
“Until we get the information, we’re not even 100% sure where they’ll go,” Wichert said.
Such an endeavor would require a special use permit granted by the township.
Huron Township is a self-zoned township, meaning that any building activity or changes to land use require conformity to the township zoning ordinance and approval by a zoning inspector.
Keith Iseler, the chairperson of the Huron Township planning commission, said the process for approving these turbines involve approving a site permit and special use permit through township zoning. The developers would also have to work with Huron County building and zoning for getting a location and the road and drain commissions to determine a route layout and what roads and crossings are sufficient for the turbines.
“The first development worked well with the road and drain commissions,” Iseler said.
Once approval is granted for this project, the developers hire a contractor to determine the radii for the turbines, test water levels, and put in driveways for them.
Huron Township has hired the Saginaw-based Spicer Group as a contractor for the township to work through the technical aspects for them.
The next Huron Township planning commission meeting is scheduled for January, and the township board meets once a month, but Iseler said the township has a timetable to get everything done for this in the next two months.
“We will have meetings as the planning board and the township trustees to take the necessary steps,” Iseler said.
Iseler said they intend to have the wind farm developers do their work properly as the township does not want landowners to have any undue hardship.
“The first development was a mixed blessing,” Iseler said. “It has its detractors and they have valid feelings for it being a mixed blessing.”
Last year, there were reports that Huron Township received an application for 21 to 31 wind turbines, which turned out to be untrue.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding