Four Grand Valley faculty members have been awarded a grant to explore potential conflicts with locating wind power facilities in coastal areas of Muskegon, Ottawa and Allegan counties. ...The findings of the study, expected to be complete in May 2011, will be available to government representatives, environmental advocates, business groups and residents.
In the final few hours, however, there was an attempt by Rep. Jeff Mayes (D-Bangor Chtr. Twp.) to add a provision in legislation that would have exempted all property taxes on wind energy devices. Currently, wind turbines and related property are taxed as personal property with revenue going to local governments. ...no action was taken by the Senate on the legislation.
Just days after the Fairfield Township Board approved a one-year moratorium on siting of wind turbines in the township, the Zoning Board of Appeals ordered Orisol Energy US Inc. to take down a 262-foot tall meteorological tower the company had erected. Both votes were unanimous.
The number of wind turbines in Michigan will increase more than tenfold this year, to the delight of dozens of farmers in the state's Thumb region.
Consumers Energy has asked the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve an amendment to the utility's Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement with Blissfield Wind -- a partnership between Exelon Wind and Great Lakes Wind LLC -- that would allow the latter to build the turbines in either Ionia or Gratiot counties, which are northwest and north of Lansing, respectively.
Resident Warren Marks told the Township Board Monday night he likes the idea of green, sustainable energy that could be created by a small, residential windmill one day.
But under a proposed township wind turbine-powered alternative energy ordinance, he'd be out of luck in having one approved in his neighborhood.
Monday's arctic air didn't quell heated rhetoric as the Saugatuck Township Planning Commission again mulled and tabled establishing windmill standards.
"Our question is, ‘Will the township establish procedures regarding sites, setbacks, noise, vibrations, quantity and more or have standards set for us?'"
Citizen Vicki Lepior didn't buy it. "They want to put one of these turbines in my back yard," she said. "They are noisy, dangerous and an eyesore."
For at least several months, Iberdrola and Heritage Sustainable Energy of Traverse City have been securing wind rights leases in several townships in northern Kent and Ottawa counties.
"In the Fruit Ridge area, we've leased somewhere in the vicinity of about 4,000 acres," said Rick Wilson, project coordinator for Heritage Sustainable Energy and its sister company, Wind Energy Partners.
"We're in the very early stages of investigating the wind energy development potential in that area," added Wilson. The area includes about three of the townships on the Kent-Ottawa county line.
Wilson said Heritage Sustainable Energy has not yet sought permits for erecting test towers but is planning to do so for one or two towers.