Articles from Michigan
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The flat fields and scenic farms have been replaced by mechanical monsters with arms spinning in the wind.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.
Officials in Tuscola County’s Elmwood Township have enacted a one-year moratorium on construction of wind turbines, citing a need to “better protect the public health, safety and welfare” of residents.
Faced with a referendum in August, questions about conflict of interest, and a decade-old zoning law, officials here have placed a temporary hold on a proposed windmill project. Exelon Generation, which wants to construct a total of 68 windmills in Marion and Bridgehampton townships, has run into a buzz-saw of opposition.
The same local official who advocated for a moratorium on wind energy projects in December 2014 says it’s now time to permanently halt wind development in Huron County.
“Catastrophic failures do happen,” said Block, a local businessman who supported the recent petition drive for a referendum on Marion Township’s expanded windmill district. “The two recent events in Huron County prove the need and importance of proper setbacks.”
The blade bent and wrapped around the nacelle of the turbine, flinging a 12-foot piece of blade about 120 yards from the base. DTE Energy regional manager Ron Chriss said GE, the manufacturer of the turbine, will be on site this coming week to make repairs and investigate the cause.
As crews continue to probe why a 400-foot wind turbine fell on a farm field, county planners talked publicly for the first time Wednesday about the incident and aftermath. County Building and Zoning Director Jeff Smith said he was out of town when the turbine fell, on Feb. 25, but went out to the site in Oliver Township on Feb. 29 with township officials.
“It’s important that the community know the short-term, mid-term, and long-term consequences of having turbines in the community,” Tussey said. “It’s not a situation where, if you don’t like it, you can just turn it off. It’s more akin to building a bridge, and once a bridge is built, it’s built.” Tussey plans to work with the concerned citizens in Ellington Township on an educational campaign intended to deliver straight facts about turbines – and not just at public meetings held during major snowstorms.
This year, wind energy developers will push Huron’s turbine count toward 500 and beyond. On Wednesday, residents skewered county planners for allowing that to happen, claiming they aren’t protecting residents and telling of the “hell” and “living nightmare” they’re now stuck with in the state’s unofficial wind capital.
“It gouged out a nice, big hole, about eight feet wide and three or four feet across." ...“A decision hasn’t been made yet on if the turbine will be replaced.” The company expects a “fact-finding” portion of the investigation to be completed in about a week, she said.
Residents of Ellington Township planned last night to ask township Supervisor Duane Lockwood to recuse himself from any further decisions regarding wind turbines in the community – and have threatened to file a lawsuit if it doesn’t happen.
Plans for a wind farm in central Clinton County that has been mired in controversy and legal battles for years appear to have been canceled.
The strong winter storm that hit Michigan this week may be the cause of a wind turbine collapse on the east side of the state.
Wheatland Township voters will have their say on March 8 over an amendment to the township’s zoning ordinance that sets up special parameters for wind turbines. The township’s board adopted the measure Sept. 12, and residents petitioned the language go to a public vote three months later.
DTE Energy regional manager Ron Chriss said a blade on the wind turbine bent and wrapped around the head, or nacelle, of the turbine. “DTE Energy found one piece of blade approximately 12 feet long on the ground about 120 yards away from the base,” Chriss said.