• Wind farm policy to go to public vote
    ROGERS CITY – The Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners will consider a petition to force a wind turbine ordinance to a public vote after residents collected enough signatures. Presque Isle County Clerk Ann Marie Main on Tuesday confirmed the petition garnered enough signatures to be considered by the county board of commissioners. “Now it’s up to the board. They would decide the language, what language would be submitted and the date of the election that will be put on,” Main . . .
  • Montcalm Community College board discusses solar, wind energy
    SIDNEY – Montcalm County could soon be seeing a serious increase in renewable energy. On Monday, Montcalm County Controller-Administrator Bob Clingenpeel spoke to the Montcalm Community College (MCC) Board of Trustees, informing them about the rise of renewable energy in Montcalm County and the ways in which MCC can become further involved with it. “A lot of programs and initiatives that are happening at MCC are absolutely critical in furthering Montcalm County as a viable place for economic development,” Clingenpeel said. . . .
  • Paving the way for wind farms: Planning commission approves local wind farm ordinance
    There aren’t any wind farms in Holly Township, yet, but the Planning Commission approved a new ordinance that will regulate the use of wind farms in the township, be it for personal or industrial uses.  The unanimous vote was cast at the regular commission meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, however, it still needs Township Board approval. Tony Engleberg, chair of the Planning Commission, said he is confident the ordinance will pass.  Engleberg said there have been “feelers put out” on . . .
  • Questions raised on county zoning
    BRANCH COUNTY – Branch County Administrator Bud Norman said he will bring in experts to discuss a proposed wind turbine ordinance which will go before the rarely used Branch County Planning Commission when it meets at 9 a.m. Dec. 12. After losing the election to force Union Township to adopt a zoning code, Concerned Citizens of Branch County asked County Commissioners to create a county wide wind turbine zoning ordinance. The planning group would have to act on the request first. . . .
  • Official promises ‘complete investigation’ into broken turbine
    BAD AXE – County planners heard from a wind turbine representative this week regarding a recent blade failure. During Wednesday’s Huron County Planning Commission meeting, Blake Shroll, site manager of Big Turtle Wind Farm, told planners Big Turtle II experienced a failure on Tower 14 on Nov. 28. “We had two pieces of fiber glass fall within 100 feet of the base. No one was injured in the incident and no other property damages had occurred,” Shroll said. “We have done . . .
  • An audacious goal for Leelanau County
    Northport Energy was founded a decade ago with a singular mission: to make the tip of Leelanau County completely green. The group hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s had some significant achievements. Members have helped establish one of the first “net zero” golf courses in the country. They’ve seen a wind turbine installed to help power the town’s wastewater treatment facility. And they’ve set up renewable projects across the Village of Northport and Leelanau Township. Upon their 10th anniversary, they . . .
  • Wind turbine blade near Port Hope failed early this morning – pics
    Investigation will begin by company officials after a wind turbine blade failure early this (Wed) morning in Bloomfield Township, west of Port Hope. Huron County Building and Zoning Director Jeff Smith said that the blade failed early this morning in the Big Turtle Wind Farm. Turbine 14 is located off of Minden Road, north of Dobson Road. Operations Manager of Heritage Sustainable Energy and the turbine manufacturer secured the area, and the investigation into the cause of the failure will . . .
  • Contentious commission meeting in L’Anse
    L’ANSE – Another meeting of the L’Anse township planning commission grew contentious on Wednesday night, as members of the Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM) pressed the commission for answers to questions about the proposed wind farm, the Summit Lake Wind Project. At the beginning of public comment, someone from the group stood to inquire about the publishing of board minutes. According to the Open Meetings Act, proposed meeting minutes should be available to the public within eight days of the . . .
  • Signatures could force wind turbines to ballot
    ROGERS CITY – Stefanie and Mike Schulte managed to collect enough signatures to petition the Presque Isle County Zoning Ordinance 2 pertaining to the installation of wind turbines. If the signatures are validated, their petition will put the ordinance on the ballot during the next election. The Schultes are Moltke Township residents who found out about the potential installation of wind turbines after a neighbor alerted them to a township meeting. Stefani Schulte said that, when she went to the township . . .
  • Wind turbine foes ask for county wide ordinance
    BRANCH COUNTY – After losing the election to force Union Township to adopt a zoning code, Concerned Citizens of Branch County urged Branch County Commissioners, at its Tuesday meeting, to create a county wide wind turbine zoning ordinance. With over two dozen supporters in attendance, Anna Keim told the board, “we are concerned that Union Township, with no zoning in place, would have dire consequences with regard to the health, safety and welfare of its residents, but particularly those who have . . .
  • L’Anse wind project gets zone change
    L’ANSE – Zoning ordinance changes concerning wind turbines dominated the discussion Monday at a meeting of the L’Anse Township Board. The new ordinance, which passed by a 4-1 vote, allows for a waiver of setback requirements on wind turbines between participating properties. Under the old ordinance, a setback of at least 1.5 times the total height of a turbine is required, even on property lines between participating properties. A participating property is defined by the ordinance as one that is part . . .
  • Commissioners hear plea for help in fighting turbines
    Residents from Union Township and from other parts of northwestern Branch County jammed their way into the Board of Commissioners meeting room Tuesday afternoon to once again ask the county to help them in their fight against DTE Energy’s plans to put in wind turbines. The group Concerned Citizens of Branch County is asking the County to intervene on their behalf especially after an effort they supported to have the Union Township Board adopt an ordinance that would have created . . .
  • Voters to decide on wind project
    L’ANSE TOWNSHIP – Canvassers from the Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM) group turned over 400 signatures to Clerk Brian Jentoft on Friday. The petition calls for holding a referendum on recent changes to the township zoning ordinance previously approved by the board. The changes would allow for wind turbines to be built in the Forest Resource District-zoned areas of L’Anse Township as part of the Summit Lake Wind Project proposed by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) on Weyerhaeuser property in the . . .
  • County to look at turbine ordinance
    BRANCH COUNTY – Last month Marilyn Johnson asked County Commissioners to pass a wind turbine zoning ordinance. During public comments Thursday she pressed for an answer. County Administrator Bud Norman said before the commission would act it would be presented to the Branch County Planning Commission. “That would be presented to the planning council before it is brought back to the board (of County Commissioners),” Norman said. The Branch County Planning Commission was created in 2011 under the state planning enabling . . .
  • Wind farm issue blows change in L’Anse Township Board
    After a busy election day, the L’Anse Township Board will see only one change in its composition. Wallace “Buddy” Sweeney defeated the incumbent Brian Kissel 793-638, with only seven unresolved write-ins. Sweeney ran as an independent against Kissel on the Republican ticket. Kissel, owner of Kissel Automotive in L’Anse, was appointed to his seat on the board in July of this year but has been criticized for his role in approving ordinances that would allow for the permitting of wind . . .
  • Proposed wind farm in U.P. would be built on timberlands
    Renewable Energy Systems hopes to build a 130 megawatt wind farm on privately owned timberlands in the Upper Peninsual of Michigan. The Summit Lake Wind Project would be able to generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 45,000 homes. The timberlands are owned by Weyerhaeuser, so the lease payments would go to one company alone. That’s different from most wind farms, which pay many landowners for the right to place wind turbines on their land. But RES project manager . . .
  • With turbines looming, Union Twp votes on planning
    nion Township voters will be asked Tuesday should the Township Board adopt an ordinance to create a planning commission pursuant to the Michigan Planning Enabling Act of 2008. The question is being put to voters in light of the debate over wind turbines in northwest Branch County. DTE Energy site manager Jeff Haines told the Branch County Board of Commissioners earlier in July they were in the early stages in Union, Sherwood, Matteson and Batavia Townships of developing a wind . . .
  • Residents divided over wind energy plan for ‘pristine Upper Peninsula wilderness’
    While wind energy is seeing pushback in other parts of Michigan, a project in the Upper Peninsula – largely benefiting a single landowner – could prove even more challenging. Supporters say the 130 megawatt project near Lake Superior could bring badly needed tax revenue to the rural area, while opponents – including the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community – say it threatens the local wilderness. The Summit Lake Wind Project being developed by global developer Renewable Energy Systems is unique for Michigan. It would be . . .
  • Garden Wind Farm expansion gets green light
    Heritage Sustainable Energy has been operating 14 wind turbines in the Garden Peninsula since 2012. Now, they’re breaking ground on their expansion project near the original wind farm in Garden. Josh Lucas, Barton Malow’s project manager on the Garden Wind Farm expansion says this year’s construction will be limited to widening existing roads, creating some new access roads and planning other electrical infrastructure in preparation for the expansion. Lucas says construction of 20 new turbines will create plentiful temporary jobs . . .
  • Wind farm proposal remains in limbo
    The proposal to scatter dozens of massive wind turbines across parts of Kent and Muskegon counties is struggling to gain full approval. Residents have sounded off on the Kenowa Ridge Wind Energy Project proposal for months. On Thursday evening, the Casnovia Township Planning Commission tabled the vote, requesting more information from the developer, Sempra Renewables, before they decide if this project will receive the green light. It was the fourth public meeting and the major topics were about what sights . . .
  • Township panel allows setback waiver for proposed wind farm
    L’ANSE – Acting on a tweak in a zoning ordinance suggested by the developer of a proposed wind farm, the L’Anse Township Planning Commission voted Wednesday to send a third recommended change to the zoning ordinances to the Township Board. The commission approved the change following a presentation from Sean Stocker, a project manager from Renewable Energy Systems (RES), which requested the change. “I asked them to come and explain their reasoning for that,” commission chairman Roy Kemppainen said. The change . . .
  • Residents: Put wind turbines to a vote
    Rogers City – Two residents of Moltke Township have presented the Presque Isle County clerk with a notice of intent to file a petition that would force recent ordinance changes related to wind turbines onto a ballot. The petition is in regards to the Presque Isle County Ordinance 2 of 2018, which addresses zoning issues, particularly the installation of wind turbines. Recent changes to the zoning ordinance were approved at the Oct.10 county Board of Commissioners meeting, after a public hearing . . .
  • Opponents start petition against wind farm zoning
    L’ANSE – The referendum process for zoning ordinances in L’Anse Township that control placement of large wind turbines has been started. Robert Kissel is a member of the Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM) group that opposes the wind turbine project proposed by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and a resident of L’Anse Township. On Friday he submitted a letter of intent to petition to the township’s clerk, Brian Jentoft. That gives them 30 days to collect enough signatures to get the . . .
  • Turbine noise complainant speaks out against commissioners
    At the Oct. 10 Huron County Board of Commissioners meeting, corporate council Steve Allen stated he can’t imagine what it’s going to cost in litigation to enforce the wind ordinance. He also stated he never even thought about the non-conforming use issue until John L. Bodis brought it up. He also brought up takings, and to quote Mr. Allen, he said the county is heading for a train wreck. Unfortunately, the train left the station 10 years ago, and now . . .
  • Concerned Citizens have made voices heard on wind turbines
    BRANCH COUNTY – As people spoke out against DTE and its planned Branch County wind farm, a group coalesced and incorporated into Concerned Citizens of Branch County, a non-profit. The leaders are newcomers, long time families, farmers, and recently returned who promise to make sure zoning regulation will protect the homes and health of the residents in the affected townships. Wind turbine energy has been a goal of the green energy movement which moved into Michigan solidly over a decade ago. . . .
  • Wind turbine foes offer endorsements
    Regulated Wind of Shiawassee County has been asked what would be the group’s recommendations to the upcoming elections. We will give you the best information on what we know as far as the candidates regarding wind energy and energy mandates. County Commissioners: District 1 Commissioner Michael Bruff is not running for re-election. The choice is between Republican Marlene Webster and Democrat Danny Miller. Marlene has stated she backs the voice of the people, whereas Miller in June of this year . . .
  • Wind turbines in Michigan criticized at Bay County meeting
    KAWKAWLIN, MI – Township officials from around Michigan and a group of about 300 citizens gathered Tuesday in Bay County at a forum where they heard from a speaker critical of wind energy. Energy companies are looking at several sites in Bay County as possible locations for a new wind turbine farm. Keynote speaker Kevon Martis, a senior policy fellow E and E Legal, spoke to the audience at the Beaver Township Community Hall Tuesday, Oct. 16, about some of . . .
  • County official urges pursuit of noise test
    BAD AXE – A Huron County Commissioner plans to present a resolution next week to address the county’s wind turbine noise complaint dilemma. According to Commissioner David G. Peruski, who chairs the board’s legislative committee, the resolution would include the following requirements: • If a test shows a violation of the noise requirements of the county’s wind ordinance, a civil infraction would be issued. • If landowners do not give permission to test on their land, their complaint would be closed. . . .
  • Kawkawlin hosts meeting focusing on drafting common wind turbine language
    Wind turbines have become increasingly controversial for rural residents in Bay County and elsewhere due to issues like noise, vibration and shadow flicker. Officials from several townships in Bay, Sanilac, Huron and Tuscola Counties joined as many as 500 other people at the Beaver Community Hall in Kawkawlin Tuesday to find ways to draft common wind turbine ordinance language to protect people’s health and safety. One of the meeting organizers, Joy Buchanon of Midland, called it an effective way to . . .
  • Turbine information shared
    If you want to allow wind turbines in your township or limit them, it is possible by using zoning regulations, according to Sarah Mills. Mills, a senior project manager at the Ford School’s Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy, spoke to a crowd at Union City Middle School last week. The two-hour session was held for the Sherwood Township Planning Commission, but representatives of the four townships where DTE has signed a majority of its land leases attended. DTE . . .
  • Packed house sees turbines get approved
    L’ANSE – The L’Anse Township Board approved ordinances allowing large wind energy conversion (LWEC) systems to be permitted in Forest Resource districts, as well as lowering the minimum blade clearance from 75 feet to 58 feet, as requested by Renewable Energy Systems (RES) and Weyerhaeuser. The minimum blade clearance is the height from the ground when the blade is at its lowest point in rotation. Sean Stocker, project manager for RES, says the lower blade clearance will allow RES to consider . . .
  • PI County imposes restrictions as wind turbines proposed
    ROGERS CITY – The Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved ordinance changes to place limits on proposed wind turbines. A public hearing was held Sep. 20 to discuss the potential installation of wind turbines in Moltke Township. The meeting prompted the county’s Planning Commission to review the zoning ordinance for the area. It was discussed at the last county board meeting, but commissioners decided to wait to make any decisions until they could further review it. They approved . . .
  • County continues to discuss noise complaints
    BAD AXE – The Huron County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday opted not to hire ABD Engineering & Design to help investigate wind turbine noise complaints. Also, the board unanimously voted to expand its contract with the Clark Hill law firm to include a review of the county’s turbine complaint process. Commissioner John A. Nugent brought forth a late motion to expand the contract. Before voting with the rest of the board not to hire ABD, Nugent said he didn’t support . . .
  • Wind turbines zoning to come after election
    UNION TOWNSHIP – Trustees of Union Township will wait until after the Nov. 6 election before taking any action to implement zoning in the township. The group opposed to wind turbines, planned by DTE, for parts of Union, Sherwood, Matteson, and Batavia Townships have been pushing for strict regulations. Tuesday night, pressed by Concerned Citizens of Branch County to act now, each member of the board said they would wait to create zoning regulations for the township, the only of one . . .
  • L’Anse town board challenger seeking ordinance review
    Wallace Sweeney, better known around L’Anse as Buddy, is running as an independent against Republican Brian Kissel for a partial term on the L’Anse Township Board. The term will end in November of 2020. Sweeney has been studying Michigan township law and the L’Anse Township ordinances. He said the zoning ordinances, originally drafted by U.P. Engineers and Architects around 2011, are “terrible.” “There’s so many mistakes in there, it’s unreal,” Sweeney said. “The whole thing needs to be redone.” He . . .
  • Commissioners asked to deal with wind turbines
    A Union Township resident asked the Branch County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to put together a county wind ordinance concerning industrial wind turbines. Right now, any decisions on zoning ordinances to govern the impact of wind turbines would lie with the various township boards. Marilyn Johnson felt a county wide ordinance on wind turbines would bring uniformity. DTE Energy site manager Jeff Haines told commissioners earlier this summer they were in the early stages in Union, Sherwood, Matteson and . . .
  • Wind turbine zoning researcher to help Sherwood Township
    SHERWOOD TOWNSHIP – After months or work on a proposed ordinances to regulate wind turbines in Sherwood Township, the Planning Commission, Wednesday night, will hold another special public hearing. Because the crowds have packed the township hall for past meetings, it will move its hearing to the Union City Middle School for the expected crowd. It will also call on an expert to advise it, taking planning commission questions for Dr. Sarah Mills, which the commission hopes will answer contradictory and . . .
  • Planning officials spar over noise complaint
    BAD AXE – Things went smoothly at the Huron County Planning Commission meeting Wednesday night – until the final minutes. During final planning commission comment, county Building and Zoning Director Jeff Smith invited wind turbine noise complainant Robert Gaffke to sign a permission slip to conduct noise testing on his property, as part of the complaint resolution effort. On Sept. 25, the Huron County Board of Commissioners suspended action on hiring ABD Engineering & Design to test at three sites that were . . .
  • 2nd wind blows: Another Adams farm considered
    ADAMS TOWNSHIP – The idea of a wind farm around Whealkate Bluff is seeing new interest, though nothing is set in stone yet. The project plan started and dropped by Farm Wind Energy a few years ago has caught the attention of Circle Power. The new company has not yet decided if they will take over the plan. “The moral of the story is it’s just an initial thing,” said Township Supervisor Gerald Heikkinen. Three representatives from Circle Power visited in . . .
  • Uninamous vote puts hold on wind turbine projects in Monitor Township
    Hundreds packed Monitor Township hall Monday night for a chance to voice their opposition to allowing a wind turbine farm development to move forward.
  • L’Anse wind farm discourse turns…peaceful
    L’ANSE – A public hearing of the L’Anse Township Planning Commission on Thursday night went well, according to many attendees. Comments from the public on proposed changes to township zoning ordinance that would allow large wind energy conversion systems (LWECS) on commercial forest district land. “It felt like tonight they were listening to us,” Wayne Abba said. Abba works with the Friends of the Huron Mountains (FHM), which opposed the proposed changes that would permit the Summit Lake Wind Project by . . .
  • Proposed wind farm in Muskegon and Kent Counties causing turbulence among residents
    CASNOVIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A proposed wind farm in Muskegon County is causing some turbulence for people against the idea. A meeting was held in Casnovia Township Planning Commission Thursday night over what would be called the Kenowa Ridge Wind Farm Project that would stretch across parts of Muskegon and Kent Counties. The farm would include 31 wind turbines, each nearly 500 feet tall. “These are nearly 500 foot tall towers, that’s taller than the statue of liberty they are very . . .
  • L’Anse Township Planning Commission holds public hearing on proposed wind turbines
    The L’Anse Township Planning Commission held a public hearing Thursday night on a proposed amendment that would allow Renewal Energy Systems to build wind turbines in Baraga County. The Planning Commission heard dozens of comments from both opposition and supporters of RES’s proposed wind turbines, and one of the comments that came up the most, was a need for a civil and more engaging dialogue. “The way to solve this challenge is not by threats of intimidation, personal harm, or . . .
  • Access denied for noise complaint test
    BAD AXE – It is now questionable whether Huron County will spend $24,500 on noise testing of wind turbines in answer to complaints. A turbine noise complainant announced at Tuesday’s Huron County Board of Commissioners meeting he would not participate in a noise test proposed by county officials. The board later delayed vote to fund the test by ABD Engineering & Design. Some commissioners said without landowner approval of the test, the county should not pay for it. Early in the . . .
  • Green energy credits have value
    L’ANSE TOWNSHIP – The proposed Summit Lake Wind Project will produce about 130 megawatts of renewable energy, according to Renewable Energy Systems (RES). This would mean the owners would receive 130 renewable energy credits (REC), transferable tokens that represent green energy as a commodity. “Electricity is a weird commodity because it has to be used within a few milliseconds of when it’s produced,” said Sarah Green, a professor of chemistry at Michigan Technological University (MTU) who also serves as co-vice chairwoman . . .
  • Ohio, Michigan MTAs blast windmill proposal
    Marine trade associations in Ohio and Michigan have joined to stop a demonstration project that will lead to the construction of 1,000 or more wind turbines in the Great Lakes. Boating Associations of Ohio and the Michigan Boating Industry Association, along with environmental and fishing groups, are blitzing members of the Ohio Power Siting Board with petitions from hundreds of boaters in both states ahead of a closed meeting Monday, Sept. 24 in Columbus, Ohio. The board will consider approval . . .
  • Sherwood continues to struggle with turbine zoning
    SHERWOOD TOWNSHIP – The Sherwood Township Planning Commission continues to try to craft an ordinance to regulate wind turbines in the township with DTE signing leases in the area. A sticking point is how far to set a required setback after considering a quarter mile or 1,320 feet from property lines. It was pointed out that a half square mile piece of property, 320 acres would not be usable for a turbine.There are few parcels large enough to qualify. That did . . .
  • Windy Uproar: Wind farm opponents object to commission’s appointment rejection
    L’ANSE – Amid repeated outbursts from the assembled public, the L’Anse Township Board appointed three new members to the Planning Commission: JoAnn Pennock, Craig Kent and Joan Bugni. “It seems like the wind energy board, but it’s really not,” Supervisor Peter Magaraggia said before making his first appointment. JoAnn Pennock was unanimously approved to a two-year term on the planning commission. Pennock previously served on the commission that created the 2012 master plan for the townshp. “She’s very good, she’s knowledgeable,” . . .
  • Legal problems surface with Huron’s master plan
    BAD AXE – Legal issues with the Huron County Master Plan have surfaced, and county officials are considering seeking the opinion of outside legal counsel. Some county commissioners and the county’s corporate counsel question the legality of nonconforming land use as described in the plan, pertaining to wind turbines. Nonconforming land use is use of property that was allowed under zoning regulations at the time the use was established, but would no longer be permitted due to subsequent changes in those . . .
  • Tuscola Commissioners fill vacancy and discussed proposed wind project
    In their last set of meetings, the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners appointed a new commissioner to fill a vacancy and discussed, at length, the proposed wind project in Juniata Township. This included a special meeting that followed their regular meeting. In addition, the Board followed the recommendations of the new Animal Control Director for new hours and fee scale. Commissioners have selected Mark Jensen to replace Commissioner Craig Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick sent a short message of his resignation to Commissioners . . .