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People upset over proposed wind farm in Ingham County

WHEATFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – You may start seeing massive wind turbines popping up in Ingham County over the next couple years.

Apex Clean Energy is signing contracts to put them on land in the southeastern part of the county.

“We don’t always have wind here,” said Wanda, who owns a farm in Wheatfield Township. “I just can’t fathom what made them think of bringing it here.”

Wanda said she was surprised when she got the contract from Apex in the mail. She said a wind farm doesn’t fit with the rural community.

“It’s not just a compatible land use with open fields, nature, crops growing,” said Wanda.

Apex spokeswoman Brian O’Shea said the company is planning for the wind turbines to be about 600 feet tall. The company is looking at building the turbines in Wheatfield, Leroy, Ingham, White Oak and Stockbridge Townships.

He also said the company is still in the early planning stages and some farmers already signed up.

“At the end of the day, we end up with slices of land that are appropriate and then we can design a project and proposed plan around that,” said O’Shea.

Township leaders said that in order for a wind farm to be built here, zoning ordinances need to change.

“We have a maximum height of 400 feet for a utility,” said Leroy Township Supervisor Earl Griffes.

Griffes said Leroy Township is the only township with an ordinance dealing with wind energy.

“I believe it was put in to be proactive to have some rules and regulations as to what they can and can’t do,” said Griffes.

Wanda said she supports the idea of clean energy in Ingham County, but just not a wind farm.

“I wish we could find green energy that not does not disrupt the landscape and the ecology of the area where we live because this place is very special,” Wanda said.

Apex said if everything goes as scheduled, construction will begin sometime in 2023.