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Conlen said that if the effort to circumvent the election result in Lake Township through annexation had succeeded, DTE would have had to evaluate the situation. The utility would not have automatically located wind turbines on the newly annexed property. "Look, we don't want unhappy neighbors." Conlen said.
Everywhere she looks, there’s a wind turbine going up.
A number of wind energy opponents earlier this week enlisted the Huron County Planning Commission meeting to vote against a proposed wind overlay district in Section 13 of McKinley Township. The requested district is part of a new project DTE Energy is developing in Chandler, Oliver and McKinley townships.
In February, Lake Township voters struck down a zoning ordinance that would allow wind turbines to operate near their homes by better than a 61 percent to 39 percent margin. Yet, there's a good chance township residents will have to live next to the turbines anyway.
Based on applications filed with the Federal Aviation Authority, each wind turbine is expected to be nearly 500 feet tall from the ground to the tip of the blades, and would be located within a 42 square mile area north of Needmore Highway, south of Eaton Highway, west of Kenyon Road., and east of Gates Road.
Near the start of the green energy movement a few years ago, several mid-Michigan townships began adopting ordinances to regulate the expected whirlwind of requests to install wind turbines to reduce their electric bills. But that influx never came and that early enthusiasm appears to be gone with the wind.
That timeframe has been postponed. Kevin King, chief of field operations facilities for the DEQ, said the project has been put on hold while the department undergoes reorganizing in the building, 401 Ketchum St. "We are no closer to making a decision," King said.
Gamesa Energy, a Spanish-based wind-farm developer and wind-turbine manufacturer, and Muskegon County appear ready to move forward with a plan to eventually construct a wind farm on the county's massive wastewater site.
Exelon officials told county planners the company will follow the same format set by DTE Energy, which included a third-party surety bond as well as a corporate guarantee. Exelon officials said the financial assurance it originally offered is the same the company used in other projects. It's not acceptable to the county and the company understands that.
Some county officials were bolstered by recent statements from Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who indicated wind energy developers may not be exempt from paying personal property taxes.
The protesors were affiliated with a group called the Interstate Informed Citizens Coalition, Inc., which attempts to focus opposition to projects such as wind turbines. The organization was founded by Kevon Martis ...Martis says that "watching wind turbine developers change zoning regulations [for wind turbines] got his attention."
Chriss said DTE Energy is disappointed the vote wasn't in favor of the new wind ordinance. ...He did not know when DTE Energy will make a decision as it re-evaluates its plans in Lake Township. He noted the utility wasn't planning on any development this year.
"This was the toughest decision they had to make, and hopefully there won't be anymore like this," Schabel said. "It's heavy pressure, does everyone agree with it, no, but they did the best they could." ..."They studied it thoroughy," said John McQuillan, Merritt Township attorney. "That's why the Planning Commission is appointed to make this decision."
"The debate had been going on for a long time and a decision had to be made," said Dave Schabel, Merritt Township supervisor. "I think the commission made the best decision that they could." Mary Wells, spokesperson for NexEra, said that officials were surprised and very disappointed by the decision.
The thrust of the lawsuit was that construction and operation of the wind farm caused the plaintiffs to suffer adverse health effects, emotional distress and economic damages, according to court documents from the Huron County Clerk's office. It consisted of four counts: Private nuisance, public nuisance, negligent design of a wind farm and negligent misrepresentation.
Crews from Kent Power began the disassembling process on the turbine Thursday and expected to complete the project before the end of the day. The DEQ contracted the company earlier this month and had scheduled the project for last week, but weather conditions forced crews push back the start date.
Duke Energy Renewables began looking at sites for a 200 megawatt wind farm in Manistee County's Arcadia and Pleasanton townships and Benzie County's Blaine and Joyfield townships during 2009. The company had named the proposed wind farm Gail Windpower Project.
Duke Energy says it will discontinue plans for a wind farm in Benzie and Manistee counties. In a released statement the company says it does not have a buyer for the electricity and questions whether there is enough demand for renewable energy in Michigan right now.
Consumers Energy has asked the Michigan Public Service Commission to approve an amendment to the utility's Renewable Energy Purchase Agreement with Blissfield Wind -- a partnership between Exelon Wind and Great Lakes Wind LLC -- that would allow the latter to build the turbines in either Ionia or Gratiot counties, which are northwest and north of Lansing, respectively.
"What I can tell you is that ITC's route, as proposed, is in the vicinity of a couple of our turbines in our Sigel Wind Park," according to Matt Wagner, Manager-Wind Development, for DTE Energy. "We had an initial discussion with ITC before the holidays, but no decisions were made."