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The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted, by a 6 to 1 margin, to approve a one-year moratorium on wind energy projects within the county during its Thursday, Dec. 15 meeting, with the moratorium taking effect immediately. The Shiawassee County Planning Commission met and passed a recommendation for the board of commissioners to approve the moratorium at its Wednesday, Dec. 14 meeting. The new board, which will take over in January, could lengthen or shorten the moratorium, according to Commissioner Jeff Bartz.
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.
The Huron County Planning Commission recommended a one-year moratorium on wind development Wednesday night, with exceptions for three county-approved projects. The recommendation will be sent to the Huron County Board of Commissioners, who will likely address the issue at their Dec. 29 meeting.
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.
According to Minden City Fire Chief Zach Kramer, a blade snapped on the turbine sometime overnight Wednesday and it's hanging on, blowing debris across the area. The turbine is located right next to Sanilac County's snowmobile Trail No. 20, which is the main trail between Minden City and Deckerville.
A broken wind turbine off of Minden and Ridley roads has officials asking snowmobilers in the area to steer clear of a popular trail near the damaged turbine.
The new proposal includes at least two major revisions to the 234-page plan approved last month in the Senate, including provisions designed to ease concerns that new regulations on alternative energy suppliers would effectively kill the state’s “electric choice” program that has allowed some big manufacturers and schools save money on their electric bills.
Attempts by Heritage Sustainable Energy to build a second wind farm in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have stalled because the company skipped essential paperwork. That’s why the state Court of Appeals refused to clear the way for the Traverse City-based company to build a controversial 42-turbine wind farm in Schoolcraft County’s Inwood Township. Heritage intended to start with 18 turbines and work up to 42.
After a 5-2 vote, some commissioners stated that they approved the district in hopes that it would ultimately go to referendum so that the people can decide. ...If the board voted against it, there would be no public recourse, and the county may be open to litigation on the part of wind developers, Corporate Counsel Steve Allen said.
Robert Gaffke, who owns property near the Big Turtle II project, addressed the Huron County Planning Commission last week regarding a noise complaint he has filed against Heritage Sustainable Energy of Traverse City. ...“It sounds like a guy’s in there with an eight-pound sledge pounding on it, every revolution,” Gaffke said.
The bills, which have divided majority House Republicans, would update 2008 policies that govern the regulation of utility giants and their competitors, require minimum amounts of renewable sources of electricity and set efficiency benchmarks. It is a complex issue but one that affects customer bills, jobs and the environment.
Fifty blades in the Deerfield Wind Energy Project were discovered to have the same issue as the two that broke and dangled from their towers near the intersection of Redman and Iseler roads ...Lack of adhesive was discovered to be the problem, and the defective blades are being repaired, said Jason Sterling, site construction manager of Vestas.
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.
A NextEra Energy Resources official promised to pay $1,000 a year to anyone who owns property in the proposed Sherman Township wind overlay district Thursday at a special township meeting. ...Commissioner David G. Peruski ...said at this point, he considers Pumford’s words to be “hearsay,” and that he has no comment on how this would affect the wind debate until he sees what NextEra proposes in writing.
“I respect that position. It is their right to do so. However, I have an issue with the way the petition circulated.” He said that NextEra Energy hired a firm to circulate the petition.
By a vote of 4-1, the Ellington board passed the one-year moratorium in a special meeting held Tuesday. The Almer Township also held a special meeting Tuesday and voted to discuss a similar moratorium at its Dec. 13 meeting.
The brothers later told The Advertiser they felt it was the right time to publicly announce the incident because they want people to know that they feel NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C. – and the companies representing them in Tuscola County – isn’t always the “good neighbor” officials from the company purport to be.
Newly elected members to the Almer Charter Township Board and to the Ellington Township Board of Trustees brought a new attitude about wind development. The two townships held back-to-back special meetings Tuesday at the Tuscola Technology Center, and each made similar motions about slowing down a wind development project in their townships.
“Today I’m here to ask the commissioners to delay making any decisions on the Huron Wind Project that includes Sherman Township until at least after our Dec. 13 meeting,” said Kathi Jahn, Sherman Township clerk.