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Gratiot wind farm moving forward despite Fulton Twp. veto  

Credit:  By Greg Nelson | The Morning Sun | July 4, 2022 | www.themorningsun.com ~~

Despite the Fulton Township Board vetoing a plan to construct wind turbines in the township, the Heartland Wind Project will move forward in southern Gratiot County.

Chicago-based Invenergy, the developer of the proposed 72-turbine wind farm, has received approval from the five other townships that will be part of the project.

The construction of wind turbines in New Haven, North Shade, Newark and North Star townships was approved earlier this year.

The final OK was given by the Washington Township Board just a couple of weeks ago.

Fulton Township’s decision will have no impact on Invenergy’s plan, according to Jorie Fox, the company’s senior associate of renewable development.

“The project is moving toward construction this fall and we look forward to bringing substantial economic benefits to the participating townships,” she told the Morning Sun in an email. “We will also continue to work to preserve the property rights of the landowners that want to participate in the project.”

Fulton Township was supposed to be the site of 12 turbines. Although the planning commission had approved the plan the township board voted 4-0, with Supervisor Denise Rossman recusing herself due to a conflict of interest, to reject it during a special meeting in April.

However, that will not adversely impact the overall project.

“Several of the turbine locations Heartland Farms applied for were alternate locations so the project does not need to relocate all 12 turbines,” Fox explained.

It’s Invenergy’s job to develop the wind park, which will produce up to 200 megawatts of electricity when complete, including obtaining all real estate and interconnection agreements, along with the installation of the turbines and all other equipment.

Once it’s finished and goes online Consumers Energy will take ownership.

After the wind park goes into operation the county will have nearly 420 turbines in service.

Heartland Farms will be the second owned by Consumers Energy in the southern part of the county.

Gratiot Wind Farms, which includes 80 turbines in North Shade and New Haven townships, went online in late 2020.

The others located in Gratiot County are:

Polaris Wind Energy, also an affiliate of Invenergy, built 68 turbines in Lafayette, Hamilton and North Star townships that produce 160 megawatts of electricity for DTE.
Pine River Wind Energy has 29 turbines operating in Pine River Township and another 36 in Isabella County’s Coe Township. It was also developed by Invenergy to supply electricity to DTE.
Beebe Community Wind Farm has 55 turbines in North Star and Emerson townships that supplies electricity to Consumers Energy.
Invenergy also developed the county’s first and largest wind farm in 2012, which features 133 turbines in Wheeler, Bethany, Emerson and Lafayette townships.

When the Heartland Farms project is finished it will leave only five of the county’s 16 townships – Arcada, Elba, Fulton, Seville and Sumner – without wind turbines.

According to statistics from Greater Gratiot Development Inc., more than $1 billion has been invested in wind development in the county during the past decade, providing local governments and schools a total of $57 million in new tax revenue.

Source:  By Greg Nelson | The Morning Sun | July 4, 2022 | www.themorningsun.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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