• Wind energy focus of Tuesday meeting
    NORTH BRANCH – Lapeer County Citizens WindWatch, a group of northern Lapeer County residents concerned about the possible effects of a proposed wind turbine project in their communities will hold a Wind Energy Policy Forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 19) at the North Branch Wesleyan Church. The meeting will feature Kevon Martis of Blissfield, who is a senior policy fellow at the Energy and Environment Legal Institute in Washington, DC. Michelle Peel, who is organizing the event, said other speakers . . .
  • Commissioners deny moratorium request
    BAD AXE – A majority of county commissioners rejected a request Tuesday to extend Huron County’s wind energy moratorium for one year. Prior to taking a vote, Sami Khoury, chairman of the board of commissioners, asked Robert McLean, chairman of the Huron County Planning Commission, for an update on recent activity. McLean told commissioners they need to work together with planners. At the commissioners’ request last year, McLean said planners stopped working on wind and focused on solar. “… Anybody that . . .
  • Kawkawlin Township supervisor faces recall election in May
    KAWKAWLIN, MI – Kawkawlin Township’s supervisor faces a recall election May 5 after he voted against a moratorium on wind energy turbines in the township. Dennis Bragiel, the township’s supervisor for 10 years, faces Samuel Davidson, running as an independent, who filed a petition to run against Bragiel. Both of their names will appear on the special election ballot. Shawn Starkey, a spokesman for Michigan Secretary of State’s office, said in 2012 the legislature changed the way recalls happen and . . .
  • Planners seek extension of wind moratorium
    BAD AXE – County planners are moving forward with their request to extend the county’s wind moratorium after an outcry from residents opposing more wind turbines. “We’ve got enough of them,” Sherman Township resident Richard Stein told Huron’s planning commission Wednesday night. Planners hosted a public hearing for a request to extend the Huron County Wind Moratorium during this week’s meeting. The wind moratorium went into effect March 1, 2018, and was set to stay in effect for one year or . . .
  • More turbines coming to Tuscola in 2019
    COLUMBIA TOWNSHIP – More wind turbines are coming to northern Tuscola County later this year. Consumers Energy sent a newsletter to Columbia Township residents notifying them construction of Phase III of Cross Winds Energy Park will start soon. There will be 33 new turbines built as part of the Cross Winds Energy Park’s Phase III in the township. “This will help us meet our company goal of generating more than 40 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2040,” said . . .
  • Wind supporter is unaffected by turbines he pushes
    This is in response to a letter from Sunday from Keith den Hollander of the Christian Coalition. He mentions Isabella County and how a special use permit was recently approved for Apex Clean Energy to build 157 turbines in five of our townships. While entitled to his opinion, den Hollander paints a rosy, pro-wind picture of the issue in Isabella County. Last week’s public hearing on the permit application was nothing more than going through the motions. The permit approval . . .
  • Local township closer to approving zoning rules for wind energy farms
    It was a much smaller crowd at Monday night’s Monitor Township planning commission meeting dealing with wind farms. Many are still opposed to the idea of turbines in the township, west of Bay City, but are satisfied with zoning guidelines. Brandon Krause chaired a wind energy rules committee and says wind farm operators must pay a bond for each turbine to cover expenses incurred by the township. In addition to noise and setback rules, wind farms must be 2,000 feet . . .
  • Ohioans cheer New Jersey’s turbine decision
    Boating and environmental groups in Ohio and Michigan are cheering the New Jersey Public Utilities Commission’s decision to reject the proposed Nautilus wind farm off the Garden State, declaring that it “fails to demonstrate a net economic benefit to the state.” Organizations in Ohio and Michigan are engaged in a battle to prevent wind turbines from being built in America’s five Great Lakes. “This basis for the rejection by New Jersey’s PUCO mirrors our position that the proposed turbine farm . . .
  • View map: Wind farm foes release project sight analysis
    The Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM) has released a sight analysis of the proposed Summit Lake Wind Project (SLWP) in Baraga County developed with help from the Geospatial Research Facility at the Great Lakes Research Center of Michigan Technological University. The “view shed,” available as both a two-dimensional map as well as in virtual reality, shows how turbines at the SLWP site would be visible from locations within a 25-mile radius, surrounding Keweenaw Bay and as far as Quincy . . .
  • County planners approve major windfarm in northern townships
    Plans for a major wind farm in five townships across northern Isabella County took a major step forward Thursday night when the Isabella County Planning Commission gave them its unanimous approval before a packed crowd in Mt. Pleasant city hall. Their approval came with significant strings attached, and part of the night was spent hashing out areas for which the permit applicant, Apex Clean Energy, Inc., acknowledged that its plans were not entirely in compliance with the county’s zoning ordinance . . .
  • Heavy turnout anticipated for wind farm permit hearing
    Anticipating large crowds and sometimes emotional testimony, a hearing in front of the county planning commission on whether a wind farm consisting of more than 150 windmills is scheduled for Mt. Pleasant’s city hall. The hearing’s purpose is so that the planning commission can consider a special use permit for a proposed wind farm in five northern townships of the county. Those townships include Denver, Isabella, Nottawa, Gilmore and Vernon. All of them are covered under the county’s zoning ordinance. . . .
  • Wind farm not in right place
    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 . . .
  • Wind farm foes dispute economic benefits of project
    The Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM) group opposing the Summit Lake Wind Project in L’Anse Township disputes the employment figures the project would bring to the area. According to the Watertown Daily Times, the union workers in Copenhagen, New York, were passed over for the work constructing the wind farm there in 2018. Construction of the farm was contracted to Renewal Energy Systems (RES), the developer of the proposed project in L’Anse Township. The RES project manager said deciding . . .
  • Wind farm opponents: Not against wind energy
    “We’re not against wind turbines. We’re not against renewable energy,” said Burt Mason, chairman for the Friends of the Huron Mountains (FOHM), a nonprofit group that formed around local concerns about the Summit Lake Wind Project. Mason said the group formed of residents who were concerned the township wasn’t taking due diligence when investigating the potential impacts of wind energy development in the area. Township officials were passing zoning changes simply at the request of RES and Weyerhaeuser, the land . . .
  • Esky creating wind turbine rules
    ESCANABA – Residents will be able to weigh in on the future of renewable energy in Escanaba Thursday during a public hearing on a proposed wind turbine energy ordinance at the city’s regular planning commission meeting. “It’s understanding what Garden and Fairbanks township have been through and what the county has been through and trying to get ahead of the game. There’s nothing imminent. We haven’t had any wind turbine folks approach the city – at least not that I’m aware of,” . . .
  • Wind farm foes seek response from shut-down federal agency
    A member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) has submitted a formal request for discretionary review of the obstruction evaluation of the Summit Lake Wind Project. The evaluation was performed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in support of the KBIC Tribal Council resolution against the project. Jeff Loman cited three major reasons in his petition, which was accepted by the FAA on Dec. 18, days before the ongoing federal government shutdown began. With thousands of FAA workers on . . .
  • Wind turbines in beautiful Michigan
    Reading articles in The Alpena News regarding the resident of Presque Isle County’s concern on installation of wind turbines prompted me to write. The first time I encountered a “wind farm” was in Michigan’s beautiful Thumb area. It is no longer beautiful. The farm consists of hundreds of massive wind turbines. The size, according to dimensions on the internet: 494 feet high, with three 164-foot blades, longer than a football field. Space required for one turbine is three quarters of . . .
  • PI County rejects turbine pause; Chairman cites concern over litigation before 4-1 vote
    ROGERS CITY – Commercial wind turbines will not be banned in Presque Isle County after the county Board of Commissioners voted down a proposed moratorium 4-to-1 on Friday during the board’s last meeting of the year. Chairman Carl Altman, Vice Chairman Bob Schell, Commissioner Michael Darga and Commissioner Stephen Lang voted against the moratorium, while Commissioner Lee Gapczynski voted in favor of it. Moltke Township residents Mike and Stefani Schulte, concerned about how a proposed turbine project could affect their . . .
  • Concerned Citizens of Branch County want recusal, resignations or non-zoning standards
    UNION TOWNSHIP – After losing a vote to bring zoning to Union Township, Concerned Citizens of Branch County Coalition took another track last week to establish wind turbine regulations in the township. Pam Reed called for Supervisor Ralph Strong and Trustee Bryan Washburn to recuse themselves from any further participation in wind turbine related issues threatening to file ethics complaints if they do. Marilyn Johnson, a retired teacher that was recently appointed by the County Commission to the County Planning Commission, . . .
  • Handle PI wind farms with caution
    We are watching the wind turbine proposal for Presque Isle County very carefully, as what happens there could set the example for other proposals around the region in the months ahead. Concerned about the proposal and how it might affect them, Moltke Township residents Mike and Stefani Schulte decided to be proactive. With the advice of legal counsel, the two set about gathering enough petitions of qualifying county residents to place the matter before county voters next year. Specifically, residents . . .
  • Anti-wind vote petition OK’d
    L’ANSE – Township clerk Brian Jentoft confirmed he has verified 410 signatures for the petition for a referendum on the zoning ordinances concerning wind turbines in the township at Wednesday’s Township Board meeting. Now the board must decide on when the election will be held and the language for the ballot. “I’m against having a special election because of the expense,” said treasurer Kristine Rice. The board estimates a special election in May would cost the township about $3,000. However, the . . .
  • PI to seek legal advice on turbine dispute
    ROGERS CITY – The Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners will seek legal counsel before they consider a petition to force a wind turbine ordinance to a public vote. County Clerk Ann Marie Main notified commissioners she certified enough signatures had been collected for the board to consider the petition. However, commissioners did not discuss the petition publicly during its meeting Wednesday night. The county board of commissioners will determine the wording and date of the election at which voters will . . .
  • County planning confronted by wind turbine issues
    BRANCH COUNTY – The Branch County Planning Commission, meeting for the first time since March of 2017, discovered it had several steps to take before considering a proposed countywide ordinance regulating wind turbines. Newly appointed member Marilyn Johnson asked the group to recommend the county impose a moratorium on turbines while the study is taking place, but the commission declined to act. Branch County Commissioner and Planning member Randall Hazelbaker said he would bring the issue before the county commission, which . . .
  • 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 . . .