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Planners hear from Deerfield Wind Energy 2 developers

The Huron County Planning Commission got to hear from the group looking to build more wind turbines in Huron Township at its meeting this week.

Members of Algonquin Power, the owners of the Deerfield Wind Farm across Huron, Dwight, Bloomfield, and Lincoln townships, made a presentation for the next phase of the project similar to one made to the Huron Township planners a few months ago. The company is requesting approval for the site plan review.

Roberto Caputo of Algonquin Power led the presentation, explaining that this new phase would have up to 21 new turbines that can produce between 2.65 MW to 6 MW of power, be between 263 and 390 feet in height, power up to 100,000 homes, and can be part of Michigan’s goal of being powered 25% by renewables by 2025.

Other infrastructure for the new turbines include a new substation, electrical connector lines, a temporary laydown area spread across 11 acres for site trailers, parking, and material storage, and a new transmission line.

Over 80 landowners with approximately 8,500 acres of land would be participating in this project, with the turbines and other facilities taking up less than 10 acres total.

Previous assessments done by ComSearch found that the turbines would not impact television reception, radio broadcasts, mobile phones, or emergency services. Individuals can still file complaints with the Deerfield team about disruptions and they will investigate.

Sound modeling for the new phase found that all been seven of the turbines would follow the county’s current zoning ordinances. Seven waivers from the prospective landowners have been acquired.

Caputo said they hope to have all the project permits in place by the first quarter of 2022, mobilize construction by the end of that quarter, and have the new phase operational by the third quarter of 2022.

Dennis O’Neil, a Sand Beach Township resident who also owns land in Huron Township, spoke in favor of the turbines, saying he feels they will help bring in tax money to help pay for roads and schools. He also brought up a news report from a TV news network where the sheriff of Isabella County said the cost for a project would be covered by taxes brought in from the turbines.

“The county shot itself in the foot with their moratorium,” O’Neil said. “The day will come where people will beg for these projects to return. Green energy is the future and we shouldn’t pass it up.”

The second phase of the Deerfield Wind Farm already got special use permits from the Huron Township planners in December, though in that vote, three of the seven planners recused themselves from voting due to stated conflicts on interest.

Planner Jeremy Polega said that since his farm has a wind turbine in the Deerfield Wind Farm, he will recuse himself from any comments or voting on this project.

The planners will have further discussion about this project and consider approving the site plan review at a future meeting.

A website for more information about this projects is available at www.deerfieldwindenergy2.com. Emails are also being accepted at deerfield2wind@algonquinpower.com.