Wind farm not in right place

January 22, 2019 |James Mihelcic, Stanton Township   |The Mining Gazette: Letters To The Editor 

The L’Anse Township Board has approved a May referendum on zoning ordinances regulating wind turbines. However, all of us paying taxes and recreating in the Keweenaw should beware. This is because the large industrial wind farm proposed atop the highest mountains in Michigan will adversely impact how all of us enjoy the natural beauty we call home.

Wind farms now achieve heights of over 600 feet. They are huge. And the plan here is to site dozens and dozens of these massive towers, each topped with large blinking lights. Each structure will be there 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

Everyone driving, walking their dog, fishing, boating and hunting inland and along Superior’s south shore that now views the majesty of these mountains will have this industrial intrusion thrust into their life.

These large wind farms might be a beatification project off the coast of industrial Detroit or New Jersey. For most of us, they will be an eyesore that lowers our quality of life.

Think of everything we will collectively lose. For example, sitting with your children on the beach around a campfire, searching the night sky for stars, comets and satellites. This is gone, your special moment now replaced by the constant blinking of red unnatural lights.

And it gets even worse. Industrial wind farms like proposed for the Huron Mountains require a large network of power lines to move the generated electricity to the grid. These are not wires on a small wooden spool, but are large wires on massive metal structures. These structures will be placed across your family or neighbor’s yard and pasture. There are health concerns of living under these wires and the easement required for them will be confiscated using eminent domain.

I am not against greener forms of energy. It has a right place which is close to other industrial structures and the energy users. Replacing the wonder of a mountain view far away from the demand for the electricity is not the correct location. Wind energy in particular should not be blighting the wonder of America’s natural beauty, especially in such a unique part of the UP and the Midwest.

I for one don’t want to give up something I hold special just so people in Detroit and Chicago can waste more electricity. I think many of us outside (and within) L’Anse Township feel the same.

James Mihelcic

Stanton Township

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