Library from Michigan
Voters in Bay County recalled a township supervisor who was pushing the development of wind farms. Jonesfield Township in Saginaw County rejected a zoning change that would have enabled more turbines. And in Baraga County, voters turned down a zoning ordinance sought by a British wind power developer. These are small communities, but indicative of the chronic problem utility companies have in siting wind farms.
Voters in three Michigan communities considered ballot issues related to industrial wind farms during the May 7 election, and in all three cases, they rejected policies preferred by wind farm developers.
“After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to discontinue the development of the Summit Lake Wind project.” RES project manager Sean Stocker said in a statement “continued delays in the planning process have ceased to make the project financially and logistically viable.” A company spokesperson declined a request for further comment.
“MBIA is not opposed to alternative sources of energy. But, regarding wind farms in our Great Lakes, we find far too many unanswered questions and documented risks to the health and aesthetics of these unique and often times fragile bodies of water. We stand opposed to plans such as the one being considered in Ohio now and we encourage all boaters and boating businesses to join us in communicating this to Ohio.”
While it is possible wind-energy generating companies would seek to place windmills in the city, the Escanaba Planning Commission undertook writing the ordinance as a preemptive measure. T
The charred remains of the generator of the wind turbine that caught fire late Monday afternoon is clearly visible from the Elkton Road. Seley said there was nothing firefighters could do except watch flames consume the unit themselves. "It's way too high and you are not going to save anything," he said.
A wind turbine off S Elkton caught fire. The turbine is part of the Harvest II wind energy facility placed in service in November 2012 by Exelon. The turbine is one of 33 Vestas V-100 (1.8 MW) turbines erected in Oliver, Chandler and McKinley townships in Huron County.
Firefighters and deputies were called after a wind turbine caught fire near the village of Elkton. Jeff Smith, an Elkton village official, said the fire, which broke out on April 1, is 300 feet in the air and crews cannot reach it to extinguish the blaze. The turbine is part of the Harvest II wind energy facility placed in service in November 2012 by Exelon and is one of 33 Vestas V-100 (1.8 MW) turbines erected in Oliver, Chandler and McKinley townships.
The planning commission pointed to the code compliance section of the Pegasus SLUP application as the main reason for revocation. The section reads: “The Pegasus Wind Energy Center will comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and will obtain all required federal, state, and local approvals, licenses, permits or variances for the proposed wind project prior to the date of construction. ...Despite a portion of the section stating that NextEra would not begin construction until it retains all applicable permits, the Pegasus Project has begun with the construction of base supports as well as roads to the supports.
“We increased the setbacks to 2,000 feet (from 750 feet) from property lines. We indicate there should be zero shadow flicker on peoples’ property, unless they want to participate...and we also lowered the sound level,” he said.
Concerns about a proposed wind farm’s impact on Mt. Pleasant Airport will be communicated to the Federal Aviation Administration after city commissioners approved the correspondence on Monday. Apex Clean Energy is planning a wind farm in six townships in Isabella County, with groundwork expected to begin this summer and the turbines themselves being put up in 2020.
More than 150 filled a meeting room at North Branch Wesleyan Church Tuesday (Feb. 19) night to hear the other side of the wind energy debate. Last month the North Branch Township Hall meeting room was standing room only for a presentation by three wind energy experts invited in by township supervisor Gary Swoish.
Kawkawlin Township’s supervisor faces a recall election May 5 after he voted against a moratorium on wind energy turbines in the township.
The Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM) has released a sight analysis of the proposed Summit Lake Wind Project (SLWP) in Baraga County developed with help from the Geospatial Research Facility at the Great Lakes Research Center of Michigan Technological University.
Add it up: No net economic benefits. Environmental damages. Growing public opposition. A variety of likely legal actions. The Great Lakes are held in the public trust by each bordering state and Canada. Accordingly, any proposal that will pollute and endanger the lakes should be wholly rejected by the agencies charged with protecting them, in this case the OPSB.
In his comments, Punch voiced his concerns over low-frequency sound emitted by industrial wind turbines, commonly known as infrasound. According to Punch’s research, the turbines used in wind farm developments can have negative effects on a person’s mental and physical health.
“We’re not against wind turbines. We’re not against renewable energy,” said Burt Mason, chairman for the Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM), a nonprofit group that formed around local concerns about the Summit Lake Wind Project.
Residents will be able to weigh in on the future of renewable energy in Escanaba Thursday during a public hearing on a proposed wind turbine energy ordinance at the city’s regular planning commission meeting.
“It’s understanding what Garden and Fairbanks township have been through and what the county has been through and trying to get ahead of the game. There’s nothing imminent. We haven’t had any wind turbine folks approach the city — at least not that I’m aware of,” said Kel Smyth, who chairs the planning commission.
Wind farming is certainly a “green” energy alternative. But, like most sources of energy, it comes with a list of both pros and cons. The cons often aren’t given much thought until suddenly it appears that turbines might be constructed in your neighbor’s back yard and will, from that point on, be a new, unsightly addition to the landscape.