Library from Michigan
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.
When asked what Huron County should pursue for alternative energy development, 42 percent of respondents agreed that wind is a viable option, and 40 percent disagreed, with 18 percent saying they were neutral. Wind energy development was second to crime/drug abuse as the top challenges that the county faces.
Many of those in attendance — including residents of Middlebury, Owosso, Fairfield and Rush townships, where the turbines are planned — asked commissioners to put in place a moratorium on wind turbine operations
Huron County officials are considering a five-year moratorium on wind development.
“The state legislators appear to be thinking of making yet another increase to their ignorant mandate for so-called green energy,” said Leo Sonck is the supervisor-elect for Bridgehampton Township and current chairman of its planning committee. “Let's focus on safety, health, welfare and property rights, then if they can be done safely and fair to all, fine, move forward.”
Wind farm companies have learned a few things from big-box retailers about pushing back against property taxes.
The Michigan Wind 2 project in Sanilac County brought with it a spike in tax revenue while it grew renewable energy. But Sanilac County just returned more than $230,000 following a settlement with Exelon after the company alleged the local governments did not properly assess the wind turbine project's taxable value.
A single blade on two different wind turbines at wind farms bounded by Verona, Redman, Huron City and Kinde Roads were hanging by a literal thread this morning after having apparently snapped in half.