Articles from Michigan
After a lengthy discussion, an Almer Township Board meeting took a strange turn on Tuesday night when Planning Committee liaison Brian Schriber told the Board he felt they didn't need to enact a moratorium on special use permits for wind turbines as recommended on a 6-1 vote of the planning commission. A motion was made to follow Schriber's suggestion and passed with abstentions from Township Supervisor Jim Miklovic and Trustee Michael Putnam.
Residents met in Lincoln Township this week to voice opinions on DTE Energy’s application for a new wind energy overlay district. A planning area covers more than 39,000 acres and 61 square miles across four townships: 22,080 in Lincoln and 5,760 each in Sigel, Dwight and Bloomfield. DTE says it expects the currently unnamed project to be between 100 and 150 megawatts and 50 to 70 wind turbines.
County planners want more time and input before taking action on DTE Energy’s plan to build 50 to 70 wind turbines in Huron County.
Tussey said he and other members of the concerned citizens group believe it was that pressure that led township officials to quickly enact what the concerned citizens have called a weak ordinance. They say what was adopted in Ellington Township was more about how many turbines can fit into one space and less about health, safety and overall impact on the community. “That pressure led them to not research the details of the ordinance.
Documents filed April 1 at the Huron County Clerk’s Office show RES Construction Inc.’s lien is for $3.3 million and Fisher Contracting Co.’s is for $4.1 million. ...Algonquin representatives and county planners meeting discussed the liens. ...officials say an affected property owner wanted to build a shed but couldn’t due to the lien.
Seals on the turbine were coming out of bearing holders, Smith said, comparing it to a vehicle with a bad wheel bearing. He said he’s not sure if the bearings on the turbines are faulty or defective. “GE knew but did not tell us,” Smith said of turbine manufacturer General Electric, adding he got an email from NextEra Energy stating a cleaning crew is coming.
All members of the Lincoln Township Board of Trustees signed a letter dated March 16 in opposition to the proposed overlay. “We feel that Huron County has done our part as far as Green Energy. We feel that no additional turbines should be allowed in Huron County,” the letter succinctly states.
In a standing-room only meeting at the Ellington Township Hall, the board voted unanimously in favor of a 120-day moratorium. ...Before voting on the moratorium, the board also voted unanimously to ask the Ellington Township Planning Commission to evaluate where turbines should be allowed in relation to property lines.
But because a flood of information and letters arrived just before the meeting, member Carl Duda made a motion to table a decision. Brock agreed, saying he would prefer more time for review rather than push any action. Brock says planners won’t take action on the project at their April 6 meeting. They instead hope to set a special meeting at a later date.
The meeting was advertised through a piece of paper posted at the township office 18 hours before the meeting, Block said. The board went into executive session with its lawyer during the March 22 meeting and afterward voted on a new moratorium that stayed all future wind development except Exelon’s project.
The Planning Commission voted to table the matter until they can go through more documents. They will schedule a special meeting to vote on the wind overlay district zoning.
Commissioners in Tuscola County spent hours of their Thursday morning meeting listening to Almer and Ellington Township residents frustrated by the perceived lack of attention paid to them by their respective township planning committees regarding the zoning of wind turbines.
The applications were filed less than 24 hours after video and audio recordings of a March 14, 2016, Almer Township Planning Commission meeting, show a NextEra representative saying the company couldn’t provide details about specific locations because it was “still working on its plans.”
Saying that “wind turbines have an incredibly small footprint” really depends on what you compare them to. I actually wonder if there is any energy production system that takes as much space as wind does.
The board of commissioners voted 4-3 Tuesday to authorize its attorney, Stephen Allen, to advise whether it’s legal to set a cap on wind turbines in the county. John Nugent, the board’s legislative chair, brought the motion for a vote.
The flat fields and scenic farms have been replaced by mechanical monsters with arms spinning in the wind. They dominate the landscape visually, impossible to ignore. ...What’s clear, at least to me, is that something has to change. People are being hurt by these wind developments. Their concerns should not fall on deaf ears.
Exelon Wind Generation says it has sent materials to an independent lab for analysis from the site where a 400-foot wind turbine fell.
Tussey said he had additional concerns, as well, including the fact that as the board discussed ordinance changes, there was a lot of two-way exchange between planning commissioners and representatives of NextEra and Spicer. He told the board it was concerning the public was shut out of the two-way discussion and could not have any input until after the board voted.
In the space of about a week, three Sanilac County townships put a stay on wind energy development, and a fourth is considering the same possibility. Marion Township, one of the future sites for a planned Exelon wind project, approved a moratorium on wind energy development ...On Tuesday, voters in Argyle and Wheatland townships voted down their wind energy ordinances.
The Ellington Township Planning Commission meeting Wednesday felt like a court hearing as two sides tried to make their case for planners to revisit – or not revisit – the community’s existing wind turbine-related ordinances. After three hours, the meeting was adjourned before anything was resolved.