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With the passing of a moratorium on wind energy Thursday, construction of two projects have been delayed, while expansion of another also is on hold.
New wind projects will not be allowed in a majority of Huron County for up to six months, according to a moratorium county commissioners approved Thursday. The moratorium applies to 16 county-zoned townships, where about 40 percent of the population lives. Huron is the state leader in wind energy with 328 turbines turning.
A hearing next week could be the final chance for residents to help decide whether to impose a moratorium that would put a stop to wind energy development for up to six months in 16 county-zoned townships. The public hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in the circuit court room in the Huron County Building (Room 207).
It’s a time when county leaders expect to decide in the coming week, after a months-long effort, whether to impose a moratorium putting a stop to wind development for up to six months. In Meade Township, DTE’s plan for close to 50 turbines faces a referendum vote in May.
USFWS has given recommendations on how Swan Bay Energy should conduct its preconstruction wildlife studies, Hicks said. Birds and bats can be killed in collisions with wind turbine blades, and migratory birds are protected by law. So are bald eagles, of which there are a number in Presque Isle County.
Truth has a habit of emerging from unexpected places. An article in the Daily Kos about the desire to end dependence on fossil fuels for energy needs reveals a “nasty little secret” about wind energy: It relies on fossil fuels. That’s a message wind energy opponents in Michigan have been trying to get across to the news media and the public over the past few years.
Residents who formed the neighborhood group Garden Peninsula Foundation filed a federal lawsuit against Traverse City-based Heritage Sustainable Energy and the Fish and Wildlife Service last month, alleging Heritage's Garden Wind Farm in the peninsula's farmlands will kill protected and endangered species such as the Kirtland's warbler, piping plover and the northern long-eared bat. The turbines have also hurt the quality of life in the community, said Michelle Halley, an attorney representing wind farm neighbors.
Invenergy plans to spread its wind turbines across 25,000 acres of private land. The number of wind turbines planned and the construction time line has not yet been determined.
Officials in Michigan’s “wind capital” in the eastern Lower Peninsula are struggling to tighten planning rules and are considering halting further wind development to stop an industry that critics say has faced lax regulation there.
County planners on Wednesday reviewed a wind project that could be jeopardized if commissioners approve an at least six-month stop on wind energy development.
County planners are moving to the Huron County District Courtroom for their monthly meeting this week, giving room for both a full agenda and more seating. On tap are plans for a 75-turbine wind park, a developer’s response to four complaints of shadow flicker and noise from turbines, and a report from an acoustics firm hired to draft regulation on turbine noise for the county.
Michigan is on pace to meet its renewable energy targets, largely thanks to wind power, but issues of transparency and turbine placement have some asking whether the shift toward wind is a smart one. ...some argue the downside associated with wind power outweighs the benefits.
Within five minutes, an association official grabbed Michigan Capitol Confidential’s camera and asked its reporter, Anne Schieber, to leave. Schieber was stationed in the back of the room, observing and recording for a potential news story. Watch a news segment on the day here.
“We have to be concerned about the ones [projects] that are coming and make sure neighbors’ rights are enforced and respected, and that’s why we’re doing what we’re doing. It’s not an effort to say ‘no more wind turbines,’ but when they are constructed, shadow flicker, noise issues and these types of things are considered by developers,” he said.
"This protest is to let people know that the American Wind Energy Association is holding a conference in here trying to figure out how to stuff more industrial wind turbines across the landscape in the sky in 'Pure Michigan,' and from a land use planning standpoint, that sounds more like pure mismanagement," Stacy said.
A special meeting next week will provide an opportunity for “robust discussion” on a potential countywide moratorium on wind energy development. The meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. Tuesday before the Huron County Board of Commissioners’ meeting of the whole at the county building in room 305. It is unclear if commissioners will discuss the documents publicly or in closed session.
Toledo attorney Joshua Nolan submitted this letter to the township which challenges the decision of the town clerk.
Resident Dale Ricker pointed out that it’s not the responsibility of the petition’s circulators to write legal ballot language. “You’re very right,” Creguer responded. ...Creguer said the township’s goal will be to create wording that captures the spirit of the petition without confusing or misleading voters.
A six-month halt on wind development countywide would jeopardize the project, Lila told county commissioners Tuesday. “We’re hoping to start construction as soon as possible,” Lila said.
Consumers Energy spokesman Roger Morgenstern recently confirmed that his company has been talking to Gamesa Wind about possibly buying electricity from a wind farm.