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Apex proposed a sprawling wind farm in Ingham County in 2020. Here's where the project stands

Lansing State Journal|Mike Ellis|November 4, 2022
MichiganZoning/Planning
Leroy Township, Stockbridge Township, Ingham Township and Wheatfield Township cover much of the hundreds of acres sought by Apex Clean Energy for a wind farm in southern Ingham County. The townships need to change their ordinances to allow for the large turbines and in the process they tend to put in height and other guidelines that effectively keep commercial wind plants from taking root, said Kevon Martis, who speaks often against wind and solar projects in Michigan.

The Kalamink wind project would generate 300 megawatts of electricity a year, enough to power 72,000 homes. It would be one of the largest wind farms in the state, turning Ingham County into the fourth biggest generator of wind energy in Michigan. The developer of the wind farm, Apex Clean Energy, points to a similar farm in Isabella County, which it expects to generate $100 million in rental payments to farmers and $31 million in local taxes over 20 years.
 
Leroy Township, Stockbridge Township, Ingham Township and Wheatfield Township cover much of the hundreds of acres sought by Apex Clean Energy for a wind farm in southern Ingham County.
 
The townships need to change their ordinances to allow for the large turbines and in the process they tend to put in height and other guidelines that effectively keep commercial wind plants from taking root, said Kevon Martis, who speaks often against wind and solar projects in Michigan.
 
Martis, a Deerfield planning commissioner who is running unopposed for a Lenawee County commission ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]
     
The Kalamink wind project would generate 300 megawatts of electricity a year, enough to power 72,000 homes. It would be one of the largest wind farms in the state, turning Ingham County into the fourth biggest generator of wind energy in Michigan. The developer of the wind farm, Apex Clean Energy, points to a similar farm in Isabella County, which it expects to generate $100 million in rental payments to farmers and $31 million in local taxes over 20 years.
 
Leroy Township, Stockbridge Township, Ingham Township and Wheatfield Township cover much of the hundreds of acres sought by Apex Clean Energy for a wind farm in southern Ingham County.
 
The townships need to change their ordinances to allow for the large turbines and in the process they tend to put in height and other guidelines that effectively keep commercial wind plants from taking root, said Kevon Martis, who speaks often against wind and solar projects in Michigan.
 
Martis, a Deerfield planning commissioner who is running unopposed for a Lenawee County commission seat, said he has advised Ingham County residents who oppose the wind farm.
 
Stockbridge Township made changes in August to its wind and solar ordinances that limit towers to 400 feet. Ingham Township made similar changes in July and Leroy Township is currently in a six-month mortarium on wind projects while planning officials consider changes, according to township officials and ordinances.
 
The height of 400 feet is key because that's too low for most modern commercial wind projects and is effectively a way to stop the development, Martis said.
 
But not so fast, because Apex Clean Energy, the company developing the wind farm, believes it can still get the park built with the support of landowners.
 
In a statement from spokesman Brian O’Shea, the company said 500 people have signed up to be part of wind projects in the area.
 
"Just like farm equipment, wind turbines are becoming larger to more efficiently harvest the wind," O’Shea said, adding that taller turbines can produce more electricity with fewer turbines. "Arbitrarily capping how tall a wind turbine can be will have the unintended consequence of requiring a project to use more towers and increase the project's overall footprint."
 
Martis said renting land to developers is profitable, collecting about $1,000 an acre. Farmland rents for about $250 an acre for grain and $400 an acre for vegetables.
 
Upping the price of land is one of the reasons, Martis said, that many people in small communities tend to resent solar and wind developments. The economics could result in fewer acres available for farmers looking to rent.
 
The company lists the project as in development, one of two in the state and about two dozen nationally that are also being developed by Apex.
 
Michigan has set a goal of greener energy with a 28% reduction by 2025 in the amount of greenhouse gasses, chiefly coal and natural gas, relative to 1990 levels.
 
Contact Mike Ellis at mellis@lsj.com or on Twitter @MikeEllis_AIM
 
This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Apex proposed a sprawling wind farm in Ingham County in 2020. Here's where the project stands

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


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