Library from Michigan
An issue that has been dividing both residents and public officials in Huron County will go before the Huron County Board of Commissioners for a vote Tuesday morning. Three consecutive public hearings will be held at the Huron Expo Center pertaining to a wind overlay district request by DTE Energy in Lincoln, Dwight, Sigel and Bloomfield townships, starting at 9:20 a.m.
The prospect of wind farms drew a curious crowd to a Wednesday night, Aug. 17, Galien Township Board meeting, though developers didn’t show up as many in the audience expected. News of the wind turbine farm proposal broke last month when Apex Clean Energy Co. officials held a meeting with area proparty owners.
Officials at Jackson-based Consumers Energy said it was too early to call anything definite, but noted several factors have put the company in position of ramping up activity related to development of Cross Winds II, originally slated for the 2021-22 time frame.
Reasonable people can disagree on policy options, but reasonable people should also recognize that that shutting down 90 percent of the energy we use to drive our cars, heat our homes, cook our food, power our hospitals and factories, and much, much more is unreasonable.
After questions from Weesaw Township Trustee Gary Sommers about what they were going to do about the existing township ordinance, company representatives said they weren’t trying "to go around the township" but acknowledged they were going to first gather support from landowners.
Subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C. have filed 112 new petitions against Tuscola County and several townships, once again contesting millions in taxes paid and forcing local jurisdictions to sit on revenue from wind turbines.
Voters in Bridgehampton and Marion townships will decide if recent zoning amendments related to proposed wind farm developments should be approved or rescinded. Citizens in both townships placed the zoning changes on the Aug. 2 primary ballot through referendum petitions.
The Almer Township Planning Commission held a public hearing Wednesday on proposed changes to its wind ordinance, but the board voted to table the matter after a motion called “disturbing” was put forth.
Members of the Ellington Township Board of Trustees took no action Tuesday night when several residents, along with a lawyer, urged them to toughen a township zoning ordinance regarding wind turbines – or face a lawsuit.
The group asserts Ellington Township Supervisor Duane Lockwood inappropriately made a motion to amend Ellington Township’s existing wind ordinance in January 2015. County records show that Lockwood’s company, Ellington Land Properties L.L.C., signed lease agreements with a wind developer in mid to late 2014.
The Huron County Planning Commission on Wednesday approved the district by a 7-2 vote in a packed Huron County District Courtroom. But voters could have the final say.
“They, on a federal level, they make these decisions to support fracking or to support wind, and we, at the local level pay the price. We can’t collect the taxes. We fight amongst each other — the people of the county fight amongst each other — but they succeed in their political goals. It’s a shame.”
If you’re doing anything other than attending public meetings held every so often by the Ellington Township board of trustees or planning commission, you are missing out on a fascinating display of human dynamics.
In a May 21 letter to the News-Press, NextEra manager Jeremy Ferrell encouraged residents to get the facts about wind energy rather than hearken to “myths and fears.” So, I have some facts to share.
The prospects for a proposed solar project could be in doubt after the East Lansing City Council voted 3-2 Tuesday to grant a 10-year tax exemption rather than the 25 years exemption sought by the company.
"The wind speeds here are not competitive with other places in the state, such as the thumb," said David Shiflett, Project Manager for Geronimo Energy. "It's going to be a challenging site for any developer."
The second topic related to wind was filling a vacant planning commission seat. Filling the chair could help break the planning commission’s current 2-2 deadlock over changes to the wind ordinance. However, the board of trustees did not confirm Supervisor Duane Lockwood’s nominee.
With Consumers’ new petitions, the assessed tax value of “most, if not all” wind turbines in Tuscola County are being contested by the wind energy companies, said Mike Hoagland, controller, Tuscola County. “We’re frustrated,” said Hoagland. “If we lose the dispute, we have to have the money set aside to pay it back.
BAD AXE — Bottom line: you cannot opt-out once the contract is signed.
A recent letter in support of the Garden Wind project perpetuates a number of common misconceptions about the economic and environmental benefits of wind development in Michigan. The most egregious is the suggestion that wind is the most economical source of power.