Articles from Michigan
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.
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.
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners voted, by a 6 to 1 margin, to approve a one-year moratorium on wind energy projects within the county during its Thursday, Dec. 15 meeting, with the moratorium taking effect immediately. The Shiawassee County Planning Commission met and passed a recommendation for the board of commissioners to approve the moratorium at its Wednesday, Dec. 14 meeting. The new board, which will take over in January, could lengthen or shorten the moratorium, according to Commissioner Jeff Bartz.
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.
The new proposal includes at least two major revisions to the 234-page plan approved last month in the Senate, including provisions designed to ease concerns that new regulations on alternative energy suppliers would effectively kill the state’s “electric choice” program that has allowed some big manufacturers and schools save money on their electric bills.