About 180 people attended the meeting this evening at West Shore Community College to hear more about a plan for and voice their thoughts on 100 to 200 wind turbines in Lake Michigan offshore in an area from about the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant to the Silver Lake area.
Most who spoke were against the proposal.
At a public meeting last week, residents of Ludington and Pentwater were unhappy, saying the spinning blades would ruin their vista and shoo away tourists and the money they bring to the area. There also are environmental concerns about how the noise and low-frequency hum the turbines make might affect bird and fish migration patterns. ..."It was shocking," said Mary Stiphany of Pentwater.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm has dreams of bringing as many as 4,000 wind turbines to Michigan, making it the nation's 14th windiest state and a major player in wind power to attract green jobs and investment.
But some people who have turbines as neighbors are pushing back against the winds of change, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday.
Bluewater will not propose specific projects in Michigan until regulatory rules have been established, O'Brien said. But the company has plans for the state.
"We are having meetings in this area because of all that has been in the public spotlight," O'Brien told a group interested in offshore wind development at the MAREC event. "We are not proposing any specific project, but when we do, 'stakeholder outreach' is the most important and critical factor."
Wind-power developers said amendments to an ordinance involving sound and setbacks between turbines and property lines are too restrictive for a single turbine to be placed in Riga - the first among four townships slated for wind energy development.
A setback regulates how far a structure or piece of equipment, such as a wind turbine, should be placed from a property line. The setback helps guarantee neighbors will have a minimum buffer between them and the structure in question.
The spot where trucks and materials are pulling in and out of Begole Road at M-46 is a staging area for the building of a new ITC transmission substation.
It will also include upgrades to its high voltage transmission lines.
After relatively little public comment, the nine-member Huron County Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the Pheasant Run Wind Energy Overlay District Wednesday evening during a special meeting and public hearing.
A final decision on the approval of two new wind overlay districts in Huron County will have to wait a few more weeks. ...The move was prompted by a request from Sharon Greenway of Port Hope to hold a public hearing. In her request she referenced the state's Zoning Enabling Act, which requires a public hearing by the county board if requested by a citizen.
As Michigan seeks to close its wind power gap with neighboring states, it is also approaching a formidable political hurdle. Is the state ready to accept offshore wind turbines in waters prized by boaters and wealthy lakeshore property owners alike? ...
The Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council is recommending amending Public Act 325 to allow offshore waters to be included in the public trust. That would give the state authority to override local opposition.
Citing a need to see "the big picture" in terms of all the parcels wind developers have leased in the area, planning commissioners on Wednesday refrained from acting on a request for two new wind districts in Huron County.
Whenever the Senate energy committee in Lansing meets, the place is packed.
Utilities, customers supporting "green" and renewable energy legislation, entrepreneurs promoting alternative energy, and people of every stripe in between jam the meeting room.
Everyone is keenly interested in finding out what the Senate plans to do, but if anyone knows anything, they're not saying a word.
No quick solution
June 29, 2009
by Paul P. Adams and Kelly Jerome
in Huron Daily Tribune
During a meeting of the Huron County wind turbine subcommittee Thursday, the board consulted Dr. Russell Bush, medical director for Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac and Tuscola counties. ..."There's no definitive cause and effect relationship that is scientifically connected to there being a definitive human health issue," he said. "In saying that, there's nothing that says there isn't."
BINGHAM TOWNSHIP — Noble Environmental Power doesn’t plan to get its windpark off the ground any time soon, but when it does, the company plans to erect the entire 32 turbines originally slated to be installed.
“We’re actually hoping to go forward in the spring with the original 32 instead of the seven, and we’re hoping to move forward with the full park and get back on track with our original plans,” said Noble Development Manager Jeanette Hagen. “We’re basically just ironing out all the red tape with the transmission. Otherwise, we’re ready to rock and roll.”
Officials from Noble Environmental Power, LLC say construction of the Noble Thumb Windpark will not resume this spring as the company originally anticipated in November.
"The best case scenario is this fall," said Noble Development Manager Jeanette Hagen.
Hagen said the company plans to erect a total of 46 turbines at the Bingham Township location.
Connecticut-based project developer Noble Environmental has sold both phases of its 159MW Noble Thumb wind farm to John Deere and has laid off an unspecified number of staff.
The move appears to be part of a company effort to raise cash and reduce costs. New Energy Finance could not reach a current spokesperson for comment.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the sale of the Noble Thumb project on October 14, according to a commission document. The two companies first notified FERC of their intentions on August 27.
HURON COUNTY — The planning commission here approved a revision to Noble Environmental Power’s Bingham Township Wind Energy plan which will add nine turbines to the planned windpark.
The company plans to erect 41 turbines instead of the 32 originally slated to be installed. The 32 original turbines will remain in their proposed locations, said Noble Development Manager Jeanette Hagen.
The additional nine turbines will be constructed near the original 32 in order to prevent further studies.
There was no dead air in the packed Huron County Circuit Court Room Wednesday as local residents and officials heard a presentation regarding findings from the Michigan Wind I noise study.
During the Huron County Planning Commission's Feb. 3 meeting, John Deere Wind Energy officials presented the findings from the sound study, which found while the majority of the Michigan Wind I development near Ubly is in compliance, three sites measured exceeded the noise limit set in the county's wind ordinance by 1 decibel.
The landscape of Bay County's Merritt Township could change drastically in less than two years.
That's what worries Supervisor Dave Schabel.
A Florida company is eyeing Merritt and three townships in Tuscola County for development of a 66-turbine commercial wind park. ..."I don't think you can make everybody happy. It would alter the landscape for generations to come. It would alter the way of life around here for years to come."
A Sigel Township resident is seeking to get a proposal on the November ballot asking voters whether two new wind districts should be created in Huron County.