Articles from Michigan
“We’re not against wind turbines. We’re not against renewable energy,” said Burt Mason, chairman for the Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM), a nonprofit group that formed around local concerns about the Summit Lake Wind Project.
Residents will be able to weigh in on the future of renewable energy in Escanaba Thursday during a public hearing on a proposed wind turbine energy ordinance at the city’s regular planning commission meeting.
Wind farming is certainly a “green” energy alternative. But, like most sources of energy, it comes with a list of both pros and cons. The cons often aren’t given much thought until suddenly it appears that turbines might be constructed in your neighbor’s back yard and will, from that point on, be a new, unsightly addition to the landscape.
Main said the Schultes had to collect signatures from 15 percent of registered voters who reside in townships that fall under county zoning — 356 signatures in this case — in order for the county commissioners to consider the petition. Presque Isle County residents who live in cities or townships with their own wind turbine ordinances were not eligible to sign the petition.
The ordinance the commission approved outlined in specific detail how Wind Energy Conversion Systems (WECS) may be harnessed in the township. It sets limits on noise the turbines can make, and prohibits them from being placed in a location where they can create flickering light for residents.
During Wednesday’s Huron County Planning Commission meeting, Blake Shroll, site manager of Big Turtle Wind Farm, told planners Big Turtle II experienced a failure on Tower 14 on Nov. 28. “We had two pieces of fiber glass fall within 100 feet of the base.
Locations for sites that could host solar and wind turbine installations are severely limited. Parkland located in the Sleeping Bar Dunes National Lakeshore or township parks are out because regulations do not allow solar or wind installations in those places. And off-shore wind installations are also off the table. The group of graduate students said they removed that option at that outset, knowing that including it would generate strong opposition to their work.
Investigation will begin by company officials after a wind turbine blade failure early this (Wed) morning in Bloomfield Township, west of Port Hope.
After losing the election to force Union Township to adopt a zoning code, Concerned Citizens of Branch County urged Branch County Commissioners, at its Tuesday meeting, to create a county wide wind turbine zoning ordinance.
The group Concerned Citizens of Branch County is asking the County to intervene on their behalf especially after an effort they supported to have the Union Township Board adopt an ordinance that would have created a Planning Commission lost at the ballot box last Tuesday by 25 votes, 268-243.
Wallace “Buddy” Sweeney defeated the incumbent Brian Kissel ...Kissel was appointed to his seat on the board in July of this year but has been criticized for his role in approving ordinances that would allow for the permitting of wind turbines in the Summit Lake Wind Project proposed by Renewable Energy Systems (RES).
Union Township voters will be asked Tuesday should the Township Board adopt an ordinance to create a planning commission pursuant to the Michigan Planning Enabling Act of 2008.
The timberlands are owned by Weyerhaeuser, so the lease payments would go to one company alone. That's different from most wind farms, which pay many landowners for the right to place wind turbines on their land.
Critics have maintained formal opposition to the project. In August, Friends of the Huron Mountains filed an injunction challenging meteorological towers that were installed. In late October, members of the group began collecting signatures for a referendum on local ordinance changes ...the plan is to hold a vote in May 2019 to abandon the zoning changes.
The change adds wording to the part of the zoning ordinance that dictates property line setbacks for wind turbines that allows setback waivers for participating properties in lease agreements or easements.
“This requests the ordinance be placed on the ballot at the next regularly scheduled election,” Schulte said, “allowing all the registered voters of Presque Isle the opportunity to educate and then vote on whether the ordinance at large is protective and acceptable.”
Mary Reilly, a representative from the Michigan State University Extension Office, presented at the meeting saying that the proposed 31 turbines will make noise and will create noticeable shadow light flicker. ...Most of the crowd made it clear that they don’t want the project to move forward.
Canvassers have been going door-to-door in the township to collect signatures from registered voters. To qualify for the referendum, they need to collect at least 15 percent of township residents (excluding L’Anse village residents) who voted in the 2014 governor’s race.
Chester said those supporting green wind energy don’t understand the opposition. “We may not be politically correct for opposing wind turbines. But they don’t live next to them,” he said.