The winds are gone from circle power’s sails. On July 30th EGLE rejected the company’s proposal to build 12 wind turbines in the Stanton and Adams township area. Hugh McDiarmid of EGLE says that the threat to bats and raptors is too great to approve the Scotia wind farm at this time. Due to the severe loss in population to the Northern Long Eared Bat, as a result of White Nose Syndrome, nearly 90% of the bat’s population has been lost since 2014. The species wouldn’t be the only one affected, but the species is the most notable because of their status on the federal protection list.
The initial rejection of the project came as a surprise to Chris Moore and his associates. Moore says that they had begun the process of working on concessions with the US Fish and Wildlife Service when EGLE’s rejection letter came. The company submitted paperwork approximately three weeks ago to work with the FWS on determining what concession would need to be made for the project to gain approval. EGLE’s final decision was influenced by multiple letters from EPA officials, the FWS stating the wind farm “may be in conflict with important wildlife uses at the site.” The FWS also noted that because of the proposed location, turbines may be in the position to kill migratory raptors, such as eagles.
Circle power plans to continue their fight to build wind turbines in the Keweenaw peninsula. For now the company will need to go back to the drawing board and determine what concessions they can make that could potentially allow the project to be approved. EGLE is in favor of renewable energy being developed in the upper peninsula, but will look to only approve projects that benefit the community and cause little to no impact on our environment.
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