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Multiple landowners in rural Isabella County have signed lease agreements for about 36,000 acres in total with at least one alternative energy company exploring the feasibility of building a wind farm across seven townships.
In the end, the planning commission decided not to allow the development because so many residents opposed it. "If somebody perceives there's a problem, it is a problem. You have to deal with it -- either convince them that it's not a problem or correct the problem they perceive is there," Russell said. "And once people believe it's a problem, it's pretty hard to convince them it's not."
SAGINAW, MI -- In the past decade, rural landscapes in the Thumb and elsewhere in Michigan have been radically altered by the advent of utility-scale wind farms.
Wind turbines dominated discussion during the June 12 meeting of the Hazelton Township board. About a dozen residents attended the meeting – some invited guests with firsthand knowledge of the impact of wind turbines on a community.
Lincoln Township resident Carl Duda, who also sits on the county planning commission offered his own slate of appointees during the first public comment session. He said he was disappointed in the choices of the board because two members of the planning commission have wind contracts: Pat Weber and Ken Weber.
The pro-wind farm committees include those opposed to Lincoln Township forming its own planning commission; those opposed to amending Sand Beach Township’s wind ordinance; and those in favor of wind parks proposed by DTE Energy and NextEra Energy Resources LLC. The highest single contribution was to Say Yes to Huron’s Future for $341,000 by Huron Wind LLC – a subsidiary of Florida-based NextEra, which had proposed a wind farm for Sherman, Sigel and Sand Beach townships. Total contributions to that committee were $417,000 as of May 22.
The state of Michigan’s renewable energy mandate requires energy providers to supply 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2022. So far, all of Michigan’s providers are on track to meet that goal.
On Monday, the state's largest utility announced it was asking the Michigan Service Commission to approve a green energy tariff to meet the needs of Switch and other companies. The tariff is a package of rates and rules for specific customers. In this case, Switch and about two dozen other big customers eager to buy renewable energy from Consumers.
Governor Snyder’s new 15% Renewable Energy Mandate gets frosty reception in Michigan’s wind capitol: Huron County
The world’s biggest wind-turbine company has filed lawsuits against five rural governments because they stand between it and millions in tax subsidies.
BAD AXE — It is no surprise that both sides of the community have been vocal when expressing their opinion of the ongoing wind turbine development, but with less than a week until the May 2 referendum elections, the heat has been turned up a notch.
Denise Rice is the treasurer of Huron County Wind Resistance, which is raising money for awareness of its core issue: “Enough is enough,” Rice said of the 473 turbines throughout the county. “You can argue all kinds of points, but that sums it up.”
For a number of years, five of nine Huron County planning commissioners had wind contracts, said Robert McLean, vice chair of the Paris Township Planning Commission. He was a member of the former Huron County Wind Energy Zoning Committee, and is running for a seat on the county planning commission. “The fox was guarding the hen house way back when,” McLean told the Tribune recently.
UPPER THUMB — Under a voluntary program by DTE Energy, customers can “reduce their carbon footprint” by contributing to the company’s green energy costs.
The Almer Township board of trustees denied an application for special land use permit that would have cleared the way for a Florida-based energy company to erect 19 wind turbines in the community.
The Almer Township planning commission denied issuing a special use land permit to allow a company to build wind turbines. ...The township ultimately decided the wind turbine company was not in compliance with the ordinance and posed too much of a health and safety risk.
Vollmar...owns property in Almer Township and has lease agreements with NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C. as part of the $200 million project known as Tuscola III Wind Energy Center. Almer and Ellington now have one-year moratoriums on wind turbine projects. Vollmar has been vocal in public meetings against those who have consistently called for such moratoriums in light of what they have called “weak ordinances” in place.
Supporters of the project argue the energy source would help the environment, land leases would provide millions of dollars for property owners while creating no health and safety concerns for residents. But opponents are worried about the change in aesthetics in the country setting with the potential 60-story devices and zoning regulations that may disturb future building by property owners not signed on with the project.
But those who live in the county aren’t exactly blown away. Residents say turbines can be detrimental to a township because of the noise, their height, and trespass zoning. Many are concerned it will ruin the view of the country side and property values.
NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C. has set sights on private emails, texts, and voice mails as part of an effort to find “potentially impermissible communications” among newly elected officials in Almer and Ellington townships. Jonathan Lauderbach, attorney from the Midland office of Warner, Norcross & Judd L.L.P., sent an email to an attorney representing Almer and Ellington townships just three days after new officials took office in both jurisdictions.