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Circle Power shifts turbine project: all 12 now planned for Adams Twp.

ADAMS TOWNSHIP – Circle Power is amending its Scotia Wind project to put all 12 proposed turbines in Adams Township.

The project had been planned to include four 575-foot turbines in Adams Township and eight more in Stanton Township.

Adams Township has a police powers ordinance regulating wind turbines, with a setback of 3,000 feet. Stanton Township is still developing an ordinance. Based on how things were progressing in Stanton Township, a similar setback would be in place there, said Circle Power partner Chris Moore.

“For the project to work in Stanton Township, the project has to be less than 3,000 feet, at least the way we had set it up,” he said. “We can make that setback work in Adams. We couldn’t make it work in Stanton.”

Moore said the project would otherwise remain the same.

Adams Township imposed a six-month moratorium on wind turbine permits in August, the same month Stanton Township approved a nine-month moratorium.

The Guardians of the Keweenaw Ridge, a citizen group formed in opposition to the project, said Stanton Township residents would still be negatively affected by the proximity to the turbines.

“Community members will not support a failed plan wrapped in different packaging,”group member James Mihelcic said in a statement. “Over the past several months local residents have voiced countless concerns on how the proposed project would negatively affect the health and well-being of homeowners, property values, and local wildlife.”

The Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) Water Resources Division (WRD) denied Circle Power’s wetlands permit request this summer over concerns including damage to wetlands habitat and harm to species such as northern long-eared bats, a federally threatened species. Moore said Circle Power had submitted bat and eagle plans to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which had raised the objections, and remains in talks with them.

Adams Township also received a Freedom of Information act request regarding the reformation of its planning commission, which could craft a stricter ordinance. Moore said at the meeting Circle Power retained the firm which sent the request, Mihelcic said.