• As zebras watch, Detroit Zoo announces switch to wind energy
    Royal Oak – Before an attentive audience of elected officials, reporters and zebras, the Detroit Zoo announced Thursday that it’s embracing a renewable energy plan and will ultimately draw all of its electricity from Michigan wind parks. The contract, part of DTE Energy’s MIGreenPower program, will take effect in 2021. The wind parks, two in mid-Michigan’s Isabella County and one in the Upper Peninsula’s Delta County, are scheduled for completion in late 2020. The latest step in what the Detroit Zoological . . .
  • County to sign deal to back wind turbine decommissioning with $200,000 apiece
    Isabella County entered into an agreement Tuesday night that is intended to pay the bill when it comes time to tear down the turbines in a wind farm in the north-central part of the county. Under the agreement, Isabella Wind, LLC, will take out a $200,000 bond for each turbine it builds. The company is currently planning to build up to 136 turbines, a number scaled back from the 157 it was permitted to build by the county’s planning commission . . .
  • Isabella Township rejects proposals for go-it-alone on zoning
    For the second August in two years, voters in Isabella Township overwhelmingly rejected a ballot proposal that would have required the township board to leave the county’s zoning ordinance and do its own. By an even larger margin, they defeated a second ballot question that would have established a millage to pay for the new zoning. Township zoning was voted down, 216 no votes to 74 votes in favor of the township going alone. The millage failed by 240 against . . .
  • Voters narrowly accept controversial turbine ordinance
    ROGERS CITY – Voters in some parts of Presque Isle County voted narrowly on Tuesday to support a controversial wind turbine ordinance, while voters in Metz said yes to a five-year renewal of a tax for road repairs. According to unofficial results Tuesday, 322 voters in 11 of the county’s townships voted to keep the wind turbine rules written by the county Board of Commissioners, while 303 voters in those townships voted against the ordinance. That’s a difference of only 19 . . .
  • Wind farm east of Muskegon met with lawsuits, recall attempts
    MUSKEGON COUNTY, MI – A proposed wind farm project at the border of Muskegon and Kent counties continues to be the subject of sharp division between residents, their elected officials and the project’s developer. Two lawsuits have been filed against Casnovia Township since it approved a special use permit for the wind farm in April. One lawsuit was filed by residents opposed to the project, and the other by the project’s developer, American Electric Power. Meanwhile, three members of the . . .
  • DTE plans to boost renewable energy output
    HURON COUNTY – Paul Funk, a land surveyor for DTE Energy, has sat in on plenty of Huron County Planning Commission meetings dealing with a proposed solar energy ordinance. During planner’s special meeting in July – held to further work on a solar energy ordinance for the county – Funk discussed landowner rights and letting people have the right to participate in solar projects. Then, Funk made a bold claim. “DTE has 1,000 megawatts of renewable,” Funk said. “The tax credits will be . . .
  • Zeeland removes wind turbines after falling ‘in the red’
    ZEELAND – Two 125-foot-tall wind turbines owned by the city of Zeeland were initially expected to pay for themselves in about 10 years, but are being retired and removed from Helder Park this week. The removal of the wind turbines is expected to be complete by Friday, Aug. 9. Work will be “substantially done” before that, said Andrew Boatright, Zeeland Board of Public Works utilities manager. Removing large underground foundation is expected to take a little longer, Boatright explained. The structures . . .
  • Firm gives opinion on county’s 2015 turbine ordinance
    BAD AXE – During this week’s Huron County Board of Commissioners meeting, Huron County Corporate Counsel Steve Allen spoke about a legal opinion related to the county’s long in-development master plan. The opinion, provided by Detroit-based Clark Hill PLC, had to deal with bringing re-powered wind turbines up to the standards of Huron County’s Wind Energy Facility Overlay Ordinance, which was revised in 2015. An opinion from Clark Hill was ordered last September after Commissioner John Bodis reviewed a draft of . . .
  • A win against wind
    There is hope for the Concerned Citizens of Branch County, opponents of a proposed DTE wind farm in parts of Batavia, Matteson, Sherwood, and Union Townships, after a Friday ruling from the Michigan Public Service Commission. The Commission said “DTE failed to prove that proposed company owned wind projects to be built in 2021 or later, and which do not qualify for the full federal tax credit, can be cost-effective compared to alternative sources of renewable generation and ownership models.” . . .
  • Voters to get say on wind turbine rules
    ROGERS CITY – When voters in some parts of Presque Isle County head to the polls on Aug. 6, they will have a chance to decide whether or not to keep a controversial wind turbine ordinance. Voters in Metz Township also will determine whether to renew a property tax for road improvements. Presque Isle County’s Ordinance 2 was passed by the county Board of Commissioners last year, specifying setbacks for wind turbines as well as solar energy installations. The ordinance also . . .
  • Local group ups media battle against DTE Energy
    A citizens group in northwest Branch County opposed to the siting of wind turbines is fighting back against DTE Energy radio commercials that have been running in recent months. Commercials supporting the views of Concerned Citizens of Branch County have aired in recent days. The group’s Pam Reid says some people have a misconception about what they stand for. Reid says they are not anti-renewable energy, but are against improper siting and incompatible land use) Anna Keim says the group . . .
  • Wind farm developers challenge township’s terms
    Construction of a controversial wind farm project in southeastern Muskegon County is on hold while two legal challenges – including one from the developer – move forward. In April, Casnovia Township approved the special use permit for American Electric Power’s Kenowa Ridge Wind Energy Project in a 3-2 vote. But that wasn’t the end of it. “That special use approval was subject to several conditions,” township attorney Catherine Kaufman said Monday. “I believe it was over 30.” In May, the township laid . . .
  • FAA rules new wind farm will pose ‘no hazard’ at Mt. Pleasant airport
    The Federal Aviation Administration has informed the City of Mt. Pleasant that it does not think a new wind farm will pose a hazard at the local airport. Apex Clean Energy is in the midst of planning a large wind farm project in northern Isabella County. Some of the wind turbines will be near airports and landing strips in the county. Earlier this year, the FAA asked the operators of the airports to weigh in if they had any concerns. . . .
  • Blade breaks off wind turbine in Garden Peninsula
    A blade on a wind turbine in the Garden peninsula broke on Wednesday morning. According to Heritage Sustainable Energy, the safety features in the turbine engaged automatically and the turbine shut down immediately. Nobody was injured and Heritage says that they implemented their safety protocols and the area is secured. The team at Heritage is working to determine the cause of the break and the next steps to take to repair it. Heritage Sustainable Energy has been operating 14 wind . . .
  • Anti turbine group frustrated with county commissioners
    A representative from a local citizens group that is opposed to the siting of proposed wind turbines by DTE Energy in the northwestern part of Branch County expressed her frustrations to the Branch County Board of Commissioners Tuesday about the lack of movement to update the county’s Master Plan and the pursuit of a moratorium on special use permits. Pam Reed from Concerned Citizens of Branch County felt commissioners were giving her group silence after they made a recent presentation. . . .
  • Editorial: Voters blow back on windmills
    Environmental activists and some Democratic elected officials are pushing for an immediate shutdown of Line 5, the pipeline that carries petroleum products across the Straits of Mackinac. Many, including Attorney General Dana Nessel, reject the solution crafted by former Gov. Rick Snyder and Enbridge, which operates the pipeline, to bury it in a tunnel deep below the lake bed. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who vowed to shut down Line 5 on the campaign trail, has softened her position since taking office . . .
  • Casnovia Twp. lays out new conditions for wind farm
    The company planning to build a wind farm in Muskegon County now has 30 days to review new conditions attached to the special land use permit approved last month. The Casnovia Township Board laid out 32 conditions for American Electric Power during a meeting Monday night. The company must now review and accept the conditions or take the township to court over its original permit proposal. The project’s current plan calls for 31 turbines within the township’s 36 square miles, . . .
  • Voters say ‘no’ to wind
    L’ANSE TOWNSHIP – Voters defeated a L’Anse Township referendum to amend its zoning ordinance to allow wind energy projects on commercial forest land. The no vote garnered 315 residents (55 percent), while only 257 (45 percent) voted in favor of the amendment. The no vote overturns a zoning change passed by the L’Anse Township board in October to allow such developments. The vote comes a month after developer Renewable Energy Resources (RES) pulled out of a planned project for 49 wind . . .
  • Controversial vote costs township supervisor his job
    A controversial vote cost a Mid-Michigan township supervisor his job during a recall in May’s election. That vote involved wind farms and whether the township should put a stop them. A group of residents did not like the supervisor’s position and succeeded in removing him from office. “I was pleased. I was actually quite shocked to see the margin,” said Samuel Davidson, incoming supervisor for Kawkawlin Township in Bay County. Davidson will be the new township supervisor once the votes . . .
  • Turbine rules headed to ballot without board say
    ROGERS CITY – Voters in some portions of Presque Isle County will get to decide on Aug. 6 whether the county should keep its controversial ordinance that deals with wind turbines and solar energy. The ordinance adopted by the county Board of Commissioners in October established setbacks and height restrictions for industrial wind turbines, in addition to requirements pertaining to visual, lighting and power lines, that were not addressed in the previous ordinance. However, Moltke Township residents Mike and Stefani Schulte . . .
  • Wind farm proposed for Muskegon/Kent counties border gets key approval
    CASNOVIA TOWNSHIP, MI – A proposed wind farm project at the border of Muskegon and Kent counties has moved closer to reality. Casnovia Township’s approval of a special use permit was an important first step to move the project forward, but the approval came with several stipulations for the Ohio-based American Electric Power. Site plans for the project also need to be approved before the company can construct the sprawling wind farm. Several residents and township officials have been outspoken . . .
  • Wind blows both ways at forum
    L’ANSE – At the end of Tuesday’s meeting of Services And Vibrant Economy (SAVE) for Baraga County, questions on cards from anonymous attendees were collected from the audience. The first card, read by meeting facilitator Mike Roberts, asked how much of the Upper Peninsula’s electricity is coming from renewable sources. Steve Waller, the Northern Michigan University adjunct instructor who gave the first presentation, said he did not have the numbers for the UP readily available, but across the state it was . . .
  • Residents want place to stay as is
    I’m sure that Renewable Energy Systems, the company that wanted to develop an industrial-scale wind farm in eastern Baraga County, is disappointed because it needed to cancel that project, but large numbers of local residents are not. About 30 years ago this area had a bad experience with a company proposing a paper mill on Keweenaw Bay. While many of the local powers that be were enthusiastic, ultimately the public didn’t want it, and, as with RES and the Summit . . .
  • Can zoning be weapon? No, lawyer tells pro-wind group
    Steven Tinti, an attorney from Crystal Falls, gave a brief talk at the meeting organized by Services And Vibrant Economy (SAVE) for Baraga on Tuesday night. “What we’re ultimately talking about are property rights,” he said. Tinti asked how many members of the roughly 70-person audience believed zoning could be used to bar lawful land uses in a township. There was little response from the audience. “Believe it or not, in the state of Michigan… when it comes to zoning . . .
  • Casnovia Township greenlights wind farm project
    Officials in a Muskegon County community have narrowly approved the construction of a controversial wind farm. The Casnovia Township board OK’d a special land use permit for the Kenowa Ridge Wind Energy Project in a 3-2 vote at a special meeting Tuesday. But the approval came with conditions focusing on longstanding concerns involving noise, light flickering and safety. Those have not yet been formally presented to American Electric Power, the company managing the project. Clerk Jennie Powell, Treasurer Gayle Brock . . .
  • Wind turbine concerns
    It is my understanding that there has been an interest in building wind turbines. For many years there have been discussions about the impact on bird, bats and other wildlife. Please do more research. I had hoped to see follow-up articles from The Daily Press on the impact of wind turbines, but so far, I have not read anything more on this…as if this is a done deal. Wind turbine Impacts on birds and bats: 2016 Summary by the American . . .
  • ‘No’ vote will put horse before cart
    Your April 16 editorial “Wind farm vote is about money plus much more” cited the alleged benefits of wind power. You warned L’Anse Township voters that it “will be coming” and that rejecting the permissive zoning changes in the May 7 referendum would mean ceding economic opportunity to other places in the UP. Your editorial is misinformed. The estimated local tax revenues you cite for the proposed Summit Lake project – $35 million at $1.4 million for the next 25 years . . .
  • Company cancels plans for wind farm with 49 turbines in Michigan’s UP
    Plans calling for a wind farm featuring 49 turbines in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have been called off due to multiple delays in the planning stages, among other reasons. The Associated Press reports that Renewable Energy Systems will not pursue its wind farm it had planned for L’Anse Township in Baraga County. The company stated that the project didn’t make sense financially or logistically anymore, according to A,P. Originally, the company planned a facility featuring at least 49 turbines standing about . . .
  • Developer backs down from L’Anse Township wind farm project
    L’ANSE TOWNSHIP, MI– A renewable energy developer says it won’t proceed with a wind farm project in L’Anse Township. Renewable Energy Systems had planned to put 49 wind turbines near the McCormick Wilderness area as part of its Summit Lake Wind project. The site has some of the highest elevations in Michigan. In a statement RES project manager Sean Stocker says, “After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to discontinue the development of the Summit Lake Wind . . .
  • Wind farm shuttered: Facing May 7 referendum, process delays cited as reason
    The Summit Lake Wind Farm is no longer being pursued, according to a press release from Renewable Energy Systems issued Friday. “After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to discontinue the development of the Summit Lake Wind project,” Sean Stocker, RES Project Manager, said in the release. “We have enjoyed working with the local community and want to thank all the landowners and supporters of the Summit Lake Wind project.” The release cited “continued delays in the . . .
  • Developer to discontinue L’Anse Township wind farm development
    The developer behind a proposed wind farm in L’Anse Township says it is no longer pursuing the project. In a press release Friday morning, Renewable Energy Systems said “continued delays in the planning process have ceased to make the project financially and logistically viable.” The Summit Lake Wind Project is a proposed 130 MW wind farm near the Huron Mountains on Weyerhaeuser Land. “After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to discontinue the development of the Summit . . .
  • Concerned Citizens again ask for turbine moratorium
    Concerned Citizens of Branch County filled the County Commission work session Thursday to ask commissioners to proceed on a new Master Plan and enact a moratorium on special use permits until one is in place. The anti wind turbine organization created 16 months ago is most concerned about Union Township which has no rezoning and turned down zoning in last November’s election by 25 votes. Pam Reed laid out the group’s concerns and urged commissioners “to defend the heath, safety, . . .
  • Local Group Reacts to Wind Farm Cancellation
    FRIENDS OF THE HURON MOUNTAINS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Local Group Reacts to Wind Farm Cancellation Urges Voter Turnout for Zoning Referendum Press Release RES Withdrawal April 2019 L’Anse, Michigan, April 19, 2019 The Friends of the Huron Mountains, a group formed to protect the interests of its members in the Huron Mountains and Michigamme Highlands area, welcomes today’s news that Renewable Energy Systems Ltd. will not proceed with the Summit Lake Wind Farm project on Weyerhaeuser Co. land in L’Anse Township. FOHM . . .
  • UP wind farm plan cancelled after pushback
    A controversial plan for a wind farm in the Upper Peninsula has been cancelled. Renewable Energy Systems was behind the project which aimed to put 49 wind turbines across 28,000 acres in L’Anse Township. In a statement, RES said the project was no longer financially or logistically viable. “After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to discontinue the development of the Summit Lake Wind project,” said RES Project Manager Sean Stocker. “We have enjoyed working with the . . .
  • RES cancels Summit Lake Wind Project
    L’ANSE TOWNSHIP – It was announced today in a press release that the developer of the Summit Lake Wind Project, Renewable Energy Systems, has decided to stop their pursuit of the project due to “continued delays” making the project no longer “financially and logistically viable.” “After a careful review of several factors, RES has decided to discontinue the development of the Summit Lake Wind project,” said RES Project Manager Sean Stocker in the press release. “We have enjoyed working with the . . .
  • Developer cancels plan for large Upper Peninsula wind project
    Citing planning delays, a global renewable energy developer has canceled plans for a major wind project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A local referendum on the project is scheduled for May 7, though it is not clear whether that impacted developers’ decision. The 130-megawatt Summit Lake Wind project, backed by global developer Renewable Energy Systems (RES), had divided local residents over its location in “pristine U.P. wilderness” near Lake Superior. The project in L’Anse Township northwest of Marquette was opposed by . . .
  • Renewable energy company drops wind turbine project
    A renewable energy company is no longer pursuing a wind farm project in Baraga County. Renewable Energy Systems had proposed erecting dozens of wind turbines in the Huron Mountains within L’Anse Township. The proposal was strongly opposed by the Keweenaw By Indian Community and the Friends of the Huron Mountains. A referendum was scheduled to appear on the May 7th ballot to change the wording of an ordinance which would open the way for the project. In a press release, . . .
  • Citizens opposed to wind turbines ask for updated Master Plan
    Representatives from a local citizens group who are opposed to the siting of proposed wind turbines by DTE Energy in the northwestern part of Branch County asked the Branch County Board of Commissioners during their work session on Thursday to update the county’s Master Plan and to pursue a moratorium on special use permits. Pam Reed from Concerned Citizens of Branch County said DTE Energy was trying to take advantage of no zoning in Union Township and pointed out the . . .
  • KBIC speaks out against proposed Summit Lake Wind Project
    Representatives with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community were at Northern Michigan University Monday, speaking out against the proposed Summit Lake Wind Project in the Huron Mountains. They spoke before a class and members of the public on what they believe to be dangers posed by the project. “It’s important that we are taking native of the negative impacts it may have on our treaty resources as we have them today and as we enjoy them today,” said KBIC president Warren . . .
  • KBIC discusses opposition to potential wind farm
    MARQUETTE – Members of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community were on the campus of Northern Michigan University Monday afternoon to talk about a potential wind farm in L’Anse Township. The presentation allowed members from the KBIC to talk to students and the public about why they oppose the wind farm and feel it will have a negative impact on the area. The Summit Lake Wind Project was announced early last year, which would allow for 49 wind turbines to be spread . . .
  • Wind energy regulations get approval
    ESCANABA – An ordinance detailing wind energy guidelines within the city was adopted by the Escanaba City Council Thursday. “As I understand it, the planning commission has spent countless hours working on this proposed ordinance,” Mayor Marc Tall said. The ordinance will set rules for noise and shadow flicker from wind energy creation systems, as well as outline setbacks and height limits for various styles of windmills and wind turbines, establish site plan requirements, and require all applicants seeking to construct . . .
  • Investigation into burning wind turbine begins
    BAD AXE – Experts have started their investigation into what caused a wind turbine to catch fire in in one of Huron County’s townships this week. On April 1, Turbine No. 17 at Harvest Wind II caught fire. The wind turbine is located in self-zoned Chandler Township and owned by Exelon Generation. “The site was secured and monitored while the fire was allowed to burn itself out, which occurred at about 11 p.m. that night,” John Orr, a representative with Exelon, . . .
  • Plan to put wind farm in Upper Peninsula forest gets community pushback
    Most wind energy projects in Michigan are on farmland in the southern part of the state. They are often controversial even there, but one company wants to put a wind farm in an Upper Peninsula forest. Many community members don’t feel that’s the right place either. The top of Michigan At 1,979 feet, Mt. Arvon is the highest point in Michigan. It’s in L’Anse Township in the Upper Peninsula – a 4 hour drive west of the Mackinac Bridge. To get . . .
  • Wind energy ordinance to appear on May 2019 ballot in Jonesfield Township
    JONESFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI – Some Jonesfield Township residents want a public vote on a more restrictive ordinance governing wind energy farms. A group of citizens gathered signatures to get a referendum on the issue on the May election ballot. The current ordinance was adopted by the township board in 2004. The election is set for Tuesday, May 7. The ordinance from 2004 calls for 5 acres per wind turbine generator and the maximum noise level generated by the turbine should . . .
  • Fire chief says wind turbines are safe days after Elkton-area fire
    A wind energy company is still trying to figure out what caused a turbine fire in the Elkton area of Huron County on Monday. Even after this fire and the collapse of another three years ago, Oliver Township Fire Chief Jim Seley believes the turbines are safe. “This is the first time one has caught on fire from around here,” he said. The charred remains of the generator of the wind turbine that caught fire late Monday afternoon is clearly . . .
  • Turbine update: No reason yet why it caught fire
    CHANDLER TOWNSHIP – There’s no cause or reason, yet, to why a wind turbine caught fire in Huron County this week. A wind turbine at Harvest Wind II, owned by Exelon Generation, was captured on fire with black smoke emitting into the sky shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday. It appeared to be actively burning near the turbine’s blades. “There were no injuries to the public or employees,” Mark Rodgers, a manager with Exelon Generation, stated in an email to the . . .
  • Crews respond to wind turbine fire in Huron County
    Firefighters and deputies responded to a wind turbine fire near the village of Elkton. Jeff Smith, an Elkton village official, said the fire is 300 feet in the air and crews cannot reach it to extinguish the blaze. Smith said the fire will likely burn itself out. Jared Schuette owns the property where the wind turbine is located, he said that this is quite an ordeal because this has never happened before. “It’s insane, it’s a small town and everyone . . .
  • Wind turbine catches fire in Huron County
    A wind turbine in Huron County caught fire and dropped flaming debris to the ground Monday afternoon. The fire was reported around 5:30 p.m. on Elkton Road near Berne Road in Oliver Township. The wind turbine involved is located about a half mile off the road, so a witness said fire crews are having trouble accessing it. The Oliver Township Fire Department also doesn’t have an aerial truck, so firefighters can’t reach the flames with hoses on the ground. A . . .
  • Wind turbine catches fire
    ELKTON – A wind turbine near the corner of Elkton and Campbell Roads, north of Elkton caught fire. More information to come.
  • Michigan wind turbine catches fire; Thick black smoke could be seen from miles away
    Thick black smoke could be seen for miles Monday night as a wind turbined burned in Huron County’s Oliver Township, in the northern part of the thumb region. Jim Seley, chief of the local township fire department, called it “a first” for his department. A large group of people had gathered in the area to see the fire, so Seley said the fire department’s job was simply to keep onlookers away from falling debris. Seley said fire hoses could not . . .