One of the arguments you hear often from wind developers, is that it can not be stopped because of exclusionary or demonstrated need.
Michigan Courts have ruled that wind energy, energy use and state mandates do not equal demonstrated need.
Tuscola has made no attempt to show that there is a “demonstrated public need” for wind turbines in Almer Township, and the Court cannot comprehend why such a need would exist. “Presumably any entrepreneur seeking to use land for a particular purpose does so because of its perception that a demand exists for that use. To equate such a self-serving demand analysis with the ‘demonstrated need’ required by the statute would render that language mere surplusage or nugatory, in contravention of usual principles of construction.” Outdoor Sys., Inc. v. City of Clawson, 686 N.W.2d 815, 819 (Mich. Ct. App. 2004). Further, “the public need must be more than mere convenience to the residents of the community.” DF Land Dev., LLC v. Charter Twp. of Ann Arbor, No. 291362, 2010 WL 2757000, at *6 (Mich. Ct. App. July 13, 2010).
Wind turbines produce energy, which is, of course, needed by the Almer Township community. But Tuscola cannot reasonably argue that the Township will have inadequate access to energy absent the wind energy project. The Michigan Court of Appeals has explained that, to show demonstrated public need, the plaintiff must do more than show that “residents of the township would benefit from” the excluded use. Id. (emphasis in original). Tuscola has not carried that burden here.
Tuscola Wind III, LLC v. Almer Charter Twp., Case No. 17-cv-10497, at *45-46 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 3, 2017)