Library from Michigan
Editor's note: Windaction has been informed by parties in Michigan that this mediation step was ordered and completed more than a month before this article was filed by the Associated Press. No agreement was reached in mediation. Almer Township contends that a permit was denied due to NextEra's failure to meet the requirements in law. A hearing before the court was held in September and the parties are awaiting a final decision by the judge.
NORTH BRANCH TWP. — North Branch Township resident Traci Martin did not expect to spend last week doing things like securing folding chairs and tables, finding a microphone and podium, and figuring out how she might feed as many as 500 people.
Some members of the Huron County Planning Commission are disappointed in a recent wind energy zoning report from Michigan State University Extension. ...Planner Ken Walker called the report "very one-sided." "This is not independent," he said. "To me, it's useless."
DTE Energy's Sigel wind energy facility experienced another blade failure. Other blades have failed in recent years at the same project. The Sigel project is comprised of 40 GE 1.6-100 towers and was placed in service in October 2012.
Another blade break in Michigan.
Although a wind turbine manufacturer has denied the Huron County Planning Commission's request for access to a safety manual, some planners still want specific information contained in the manual. Residents and planning officials are concerned that turbine manufacturer Vestas and Sempra Renewables, owner of the Apple Blossom wind park, are trying to hide something by not making the manual accessible.
Adam Greene, site supervisor for Deerfield, suggested that the Tribune reach out to Vestas. "I have no idea what's going on at this time," he said. ...Two blades in separate turbines similarly broke last October.
Another turbine failure has been reported at Michigan's Deerfield wind facility in Huron County. The Deerfield project includes a mix of Vestas V110 2MW and 2.2MW machines for a total installed capacity of 150 MW. Two blades on separate turbines broke in half in late 2016 when the project was in the process of being commissioned. There was “an anomaly in the manufacturing process that resulted in a cavity in the blade shell support structure where the blades broke,” Vestas told reNEWS. Fifty blades in the 72-turbine facility shared the same flaw. No information is available on the cause of this recent failure.
UPPER THUMB — Local counties, municipalities and school districts will be able to hold on to disputed wind turbine tax revenue following recent action by NextEra Energy Resources.
The three-member Michigan Public Service Commission unanimously issued a rule on a section of the state's new energy law that sets the phased-in requirement for alternative energy suppliers, who serve customers who buy power from a company other than the state's large electric utilities. Those customers include 200 school districts and thousands of businesses, which typically get cheaper rates in the program.
NEW HAVEN TWP. – On Monday, Sept. 11, New Haven Township hosted a presentation about wind energy by Kevon Martis of the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc. The Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to raising public awareness of the potential impacts from the construction of industrial wind turbines in the region. Martis is a volunteer, not a lobbyist.
Gearboxes had to be replaced because they were made of “not the best metal from overseas,” Buda said. Specifically, the metal came from China. The gearboxes were designed by General Electric, with some produced in the United States, and some produced in China, said Austin Osentoski, wind technician for DTE, who was also at the meeting.
BEAVER TWP, MI -- DTE Energy is exploring the possibility of developing a wind farm in Bay County.
Rep. Gary Glenn, R-Larkin Twp., attended the meeting and said he saw a pattern from DTE of not showing up for debates on wind energy. Glenn said DTE has repeatedly refused invitations to appear before the House Energy Policy Committee for debate-type events. "...both sides were offered 20 minutes to make their case," Glenn said.
An informational meeting was held Tuesday night about wind turbines and why many townships across the state have rejected wind energy development. The company wanting to build the turbines chose not to attend the meeting.
Lincoln first moved to become self-zoned about a year ago. At the same time, the county was considering whether to allow a wind development overlay zone in the township, as proposed by DTE Energy. According to records in the Huron County Register of Deeds office, all but one person on the Lincoln Township Board of Trustees have wind contracts.
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.
Weaver expressed concern over Preston’s recommendation of measuring the setback to the distance of the home and not the property line. “If you only place it at the house, not the property line, how do you evacuate the children from the yard? Why have a special allowance for schools, churches and hospitals when [you] spend more time [at home]?”
A wind energy developer who wants to erect 400-foot tall wind turbines on a picturesque U.P. peninsula is getting resistance from environmental groups concerned that the spinning blades threaten migratory and other birds including bald eagles. The developer, called Heritage Sustainable Energy, already operates 14 wind turbines on the Garden Peninsula, located in Delta County, and wants to add 21 more there.
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."