Articles from Michigan
A report released by a commission created and appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed the state take steps to get 30 percent of its electric energy by 2025 through renewable sources, such as wind and solar energy. ...But the recommendation flies in the face of Michigan voters, who soundly rejected a 2012 ballot initiative that would have required 25 percent of the state’s electricity to come from renewables.
For a number of years, five of nine Huron County planning commissioners had wind contracts, said Robert McLean, vice chair of the Paris Township Planning Commission. He was a member of the former Huron County Wind Energy Zoning Committee, and is running for a seat on the county planning commission. “The fox was guarding the hen house way back when,” McLean told the Tribune recently.
Almer Township and its Board of Trustees face a federal lawsuit by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC over a proposed wind energy development. Tuscola Wind III LLC is seeking a court order to compel the township, located north of Caro, to allow development of a wind farm to proceed.
The suit essentially claims a systematic effort has been underway to “kill” the planned Tuscola III project, starting with the formation of the Ellington-Almer Township Concerned Citizens (EATCC) group, continuing with the election of several group members last November, and culminating with a one-year moratorium on wind projects and denial of special-land use permit (SLUP) by the board in January.
Contention over wind development started in 2011 when the Michigan Tax Commission (STC) arbitrarily changed the taxing methodology and depreciation on wind turbines. The change lowered taxable values on turbines along with a faster depreciation rate.
UPPER THUMB — Under a voluntary program by DTE Energy, customers can “reduce their carbon footprint” by contributing to the company’s green energy costs.
In the past two months, two rural Michigan counties have adopted one-year moratoriums on wind development, though they appear to be in vastly different positions when it comes to regulatory experience.
Tuscola County commissioners are discounting over a year of contentious meetings, legal wrangling, and turnover of two township boards as a matter of personality differences, calling it a situation similar to the “Hatfields and McCoys” that’s hurting the county financially.
The Almer Township board of trustees denied an application for special land use permit that would have cleared the way for a Florida-based energy company to erect 19 wind turbines in the community.
Gauger said it’s been determined that the “old style” keyway pitch motor is “defective” and not able to handle the load that is being placed on them by longer blades. He said the motor is essentially trying to adjust itself so that there is less drag. “What happens is on the upswing or the downswing, it’s actually got some slack in there and that’s that clunking noise that people are hearing,” Gauger said.
The Almer Township planning commission denied issuing a special use land permit to allow a company to build wind turbines. ...The township ultimately decided the wind turbine company was not in compliance with the ordinance and posed too much of a health and safety risk.
Commissioners voted 5-1 to again halt wind-energy development during their final meeting of the year, Thursday, Dec. 29.
The Almer Township Planning Commission is required to make a recommendation today about an application for a special land-use permit, exactly 100 days since NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C. filed the paperwork for a $200 million wind turbine project.
I signed a wind turbine lease with Heritage Sustainable in 2008. If I had known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have signed. Since the turbines went up, I have had frequent headaches lasting three days. I never had these before.
“Unfortunately with the hazards because of the heavy machinery that's up there, there's not much that we could do until it falls down or wait until the point that it's safe and we can send somebody up there to make an inspection,” says Jay Deboer, the Deputy Chief for McBain Fire Department.
Vollmar...owns property in Almer Township and has lease agreements with NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C. as part of the $200 million project known as Tuscola III Wind Energy Center. Almer and Ellington now have one-year moratoriums on wind turbine projects. Vollmar has been vocal in public meetings against those who have consistently called for such moratoriums in light of what they have called “weak ordinances” in place.
The Huron County Planning Commission recommended a one-year moratorium on wind development Wednesday night, with exceptions for three county-approved projects. The recommendation will be sent to the Huron County Board of Commissioners, who will likely address the issue at their Dec. 29 meeting.
Supporters of the project argue the energy source would help the environment, land leases would provide millions of dollars for property owners while creating no health and safety concerns for residents. But opponents are worried about the change in aesthetics in the country setting with the potential 60-story devices and zoning regulations that may disturb future building by property owners not signed on with the project.
According to Minden City Fire Chief Zach Kramer, a blade snapped on the turbine sometime overnight Wednesday and it's hanging on, blowing debris across the area. The turbine is located right next to Sanilac County's snowmobile Trail No. 20, which is the main trail between Minden City and Deckerville.
A broken wind turbine off of Minden and Ridley roads has officials asking snowmobilers in the area to steer clear of a popular trail near the damaged turbine.