Library from Michigan
Denise Rice is the treasurer of Huron County Wind Resistance, which is raising money for awareness of its core issue: “Enough is enough,” Rice said of the 473 turbines throughout the county. “You can argue all kinds of points, but that sums it up.”
The suit seeks to restrain Talaski and Zbytowski actions as planning commission members until the court takes action. Visiting Circuit Judge Kenneth Schmidt decided Talaski and Zbytowski could remain on the board with stipulation of a moratorium that no decision on wind energy development be made until Tuscola County Circuit Judge Amy Grace Gierhart can preside.
Last December, one of the turbines at the Stoney Corners wind facility burst into flames and was completely destroyed. Black smoke darkened the sky and heavy winds spread ash and burning particles on fields and properties nearby. For days the acrid odor of smoldering composites lingered in the air and seeped into my home along with several other homes in the area of the fire.
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.
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. An answer hasn’t been filed to the complaint as of press time.
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.
Monday, the Township Board approved an ordinance that imposes a year-long moratorium on wind energy conversion systems, giving township officials time to review, adopt and amend local rules relating to wind farms. ...Apex Clean Energy representatives previously said the firm hopes to install 36 to 60 up-to-600-foot turbines across 16,000 rural acres in Shiawassee County.
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.
An Apex spokesman said his company is still interested in building a wind farm despite personnel changes and no contact with area townships in months.
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.
A one-year moratorium has been enacted on a proposed wind energy farm to allow officials to check on regulations before making a decision on whether or not to allow work to move forward. The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners approved the moratorium last month, but the Virginia-based company has said it will continue to push forward with plans for the Maple Rapids Wind project.
Another blade failure on a wind turbine recently occurred a couple miles south of Minden City on Minden Road in northern Sanilac County. Much of the blade has broken off. Work on replacing the blade will likely have to wait until Spring, leaving this unit out of service for some time.
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.