Palmyra Township residents will vote Tuesday, May 8, on the proposed industrial wind turbine zoning ordinance passed by the township board in October.
Wednesday’s action was a change from earlier this month, when the board approved amendments that would have made the ordinance stricter than the one that had been drafted by its planning commission and endorsed by the Lenawee County Planning Commission. ...But on Wednesday, the board went back to the original language on two key points.
"I hope the Palmyra leadership will take a second look at the state-recommended model ordinance that is in effect in Riga which requires the consent of all the taxpayers in the township, instead of an ordinance like that rejected in Palmyra that effectively causes people to give up their future development rights to outside industrial wind developers."
Gov. Jennifer Granholm today ordered creation of an advisory panel to begin looking at siting offshore windmills on the Great Lakes.
The executive order sets up the 13-member Great Lakes Wind Council, which will provide citizens a public forum to identify where the towering windmills can be placed.
Turbines must be 2,000 feet from non-participating property owners' homes and three times the turbine height from non-participating property lines. ...In terms of sound for Paris, there will be an allowance of 35 decibels during the day and 30 at night for non-leased property, and 40 during the day and 35 at night for leased property.
The Pentwater Village Council "got out in front" of the Lake Michigan wind farm controversy with a unanimous resolution objecting to the location proposed by Scandia Wind LLC, its president said.
Pentwater is the community nearest to the proposed 100-square-mile wind farm off the near shore of the Oceana-Mason county line.
Pentwater village councilors made their voice known.
When it comes to the offshore wind turbines proposed by Scandia/Havgul Clean Energy 1.4 to 3.7 miles from the area's shoreline, the answer is no.
The village council voted unanimously Monday to reject the wind farm project.
OLIVER TOWNSHIP — The township planning commission Thursday voted to approve a special use permit for a utility grid wind energy system in its agricultural preservation zoning district.
Brian Crawford of RMT, Inc. of Grand Rapids spoke on behalf of Michigan Wind LLC during the planning commission’s public hearing regarding the development of a project which may lead to the installation of 27 wind turbines in Oliver Township. Michigan Wind also has developed a project which may lead to the installation of five turbines in neighboring Chandler Township.
“The area is a prime (location) for wind energy development,” Crawford said. “This (Huron County) is one of the better areas in the state for hosting wind energy.”
Huron County Clerk Peggy Koehler announced two petitions were submitted Friday morning to have the two new zoning districts county officials approved last month put on the November ballot for a vote of the people.
A university intends to measure Lake Michigan's potential for offshore wind power with a $1.4 million federal grant. ..."We are not putting wind turbines out there," said Arn Boezaart, interim director of the university's Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. "Funding has not allowed for that to happen. We are developing an offshore project to develop wind data on Lake Michigan, as well as other research information on top of that."
The Huron County Planning Commission has approved a new wind district for the Deerfield Wind Farm ...The project is proposed to be developed on about 18 square miles in Dwight Township, about 1 square mile in Lincoln Township, 6 square miles in Bloomfield Township and about 20 square miles in Huron Township.
A number of wind energy opponents earlier this week enlisted the Huron County Planning Commission meeting to vote against a proposed wind overlay district in Section 13 of McKinley Township.
The requested district is part of a new project DTE Energy is developing in Chandler, Oliver and McKinley townships.
The future of alternative energy resources in Washtenaw County is now, according to planning and environmental officials.
A resolution adopted last year by the County Board of Commissioners allowed planners to study wind generated power in a project that could affect residents and businesses county wide, and pave the way for Washtenaw County energy resources to be weaned away from fossil fuels.
Project organizers first will test the county's wind resources to determine if the area can sustain small or large wind turbines, according to a press release. Planers also are looking at economic feasibility and hope to provide future investment grade information to residents, businesses and statewide energy providers.
To test the wind, Project Planner Joshua Long said they will erect meteorological towers to gather data in a process expected to last more than year. Planners are waiting on a report for preferred sites throughout the county to build the towers, he said.
"That's the stage we're at right now," Long said. "Hopefully, we'll have that report back to us this summer then we'll take 12 to 18 months of gathering the data from the towers to determine just how much wind we have."
A draft ordinance that would allow wind turbines for energy production is one step closer to getting the "green" light in Norton Shores.
During a work session Tuesday night, the city council gave administrators the nod to have the planning commission review the ordinance, which could be adopted this summer.
If the ordinance is approved, residential and commercial turbines would be allowed to operate inside the city for the first time. Right now, the city's zoning books do not specifically address turbines, so they are not allowed, said Community Development Director Dick Maher. ...Maher said the purpose of the ordinance is to give residents and businesses the ability to install turbines while giving them rules to follow.
He said "a couple businesses in town" have inquired about whether they could use a turbine to offset energy costs.
The board of commissioners passed a resolution Oct. 11 asking the planning commission to review a number of issues pertaining to wind energy for the county's zoning ordinance. They included a prohibition of wind turbines in Lake Huron/Saginaw Bay and turbines within 3 miles of the shoreline.
The planning commission approved a controversial plan to add two new wind overlay districts in McKinley Township and in the Harbor Beach area. ...It's a story that WNEM TV5 has been following since several residents expressed concern that those same public officials were trying to cash in by pushing a deal through with utility companies.
The board approved allowing the utility to proceed with developing the two wind farms, so long as Huron County Corporation Counsel Steve Allen reviews the decommissioning bonds and determines they will satisfy the needs of Huron County.
Providing the $1 million decommissioning bonds that DTE Energy procured for its proposed McKinley and Sigel wind farms is approved by the county, the utility is set to proceed with obtaining building permits and beginning construction.
To deal with possible new requests, the Planning Commission will look at a proposed ordinance governing wind energy systems.
Currently, wind energy systems are allowed only as an accessory use and may be no more than 15 feet tall. Planning director Terry Schweitzer said those rules really limit the use of any wind system.
The city has received inquiries for wind systems ..."We have seen one industrial business interested, but they would be hamstrung with our current regulations," Schweitzer said.
Interest in wind farms in Gratiot County is continuing to grow.
About 60 to 70 people filled the North Star Township Hall last week to learn more about a second proposed wind farm to be started by Beebe Community Wind Farms in Emerson, Lafayette, Hamilton and North Star townships.