Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Michigan

Neighbors make waves over turbines; State officials, residents caught off guard by plan

At a public meeting last week, residents of Ludington and Pentwater were unhappy, saying the spinning blades would ruin their vista and shoo away tourists and the money they bring to the area. There also are environmental concerns about how the noise and low-frequency hum the turbines make might affect bird and fish migration patterns. ..."It was shocking," said Mary Stiphany of Pentwater.
23 Dec 2009

Developers of proposed $3 billion Lake Michigan wind farm say project would hurt view, help economy

The first off-shore utility-scale wind farm proposed for this side of Lake Michigan was presented Tuesday night. The massive 100- to 200-turbine project was outlined by a Norwegian wind development company Havgul Clean Energy AS for the waters off northern Oceana and southern Mason counties. ...The more than 150 people at the first public presentation on the project were overwhelmingly opposed to the plan.
16 Dec 2009

Battle continues over wind turbines

The City of Grand Rapids wants to install two turbines to generate 80,000 megawatts to power the city's water treatment plant. The city brought their plans to the residents of Grand Haven on Monday night, and they are not too happy about it. The Lake Michigan shoreline has been described as beautiful and pristine, and for many people in Grand Haven, it's also their backyard.
1 Dec 2009

Plan for turbines on Great Lakes modified to measure offshore wind energy potential

A university intends to measure Lake Michigan's potential for offshore wind power with a $1.4 million federal grant. ..."We are not putting wind turbines out there," said Arn Boezaart, interim director of the university's Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. "Funding has not allowed for that to happen. We are developing an offshore project to develop wind data on Lake Michigan, as well as other research information on top of that."
29 Nov 2009

Grand Haven Township residents oppose Grand Rapids plan to build wind turbines near their homes

Lake Michigan cottage owner Rob Schantz favors smaller carbon footprints, buying locally and other green initiatives. But plans by city of Grand Rapids officials to build two 300-foot-tall wind turbines within view of his family's cottage is not environmentally friendly in his book. ...Schantz and many of his lakefront neighbors plan to attend an informational meeting Monday night to voice concerns to Grand Haven Township officials considering an ordinance change to allow large electricity-generating wind turbines.
28 Nov 2009

Officials: Keep control local; State could preempt local turbine requirements

In an interview Wednesday, Huron County Commissioner Kurt Damrow said Monday's public hearing is the last chance for local units of government, including townships that have control of their zoning and have a wind turbine ordinance, to speak to the State of Michigan in regard to maintaining local control over setback requirements and noise limitations for wind developments. "What's on the line is whether local units of government will have a say in zoning, specifically (regarding) setbacks and noise," Damrow said.
19 Nov 2009

Public hearing planned for turbine setbacks, noise limits

Officials announced last week that the Michigan Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing later this month to garner public comment on the effect of wind turbine setback requirements and noise limitations under local zoning or other ordinances on wind energy development in wind energy resource zones. The hearing is set to begin at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 23 at the MPSC's office.
2 Nov 2009

Homeowners fight against the wind; Turbines blow ill wind for some

In the Champagne household, there are two opinions on the whirling wind turbines that surround the family's home of 35 years. Gene Champagne is bothered by the thumping, rumbling sound of the blades that loom like giants over the house. The noise disturbs his sleep and destroys his TV reception. Flickering shadows from sun on the blades run around rooms. ...Opponents say tighter restrictions are needed. The wind industry says tougher rules will keep wind farms out of Michigan.
27 Sep 2009

Great turbine debate; State wind board meeting packed

There were a flurry of opinions either in favor or opposed to the Thumb becoming a designated wind energy resource zone given Monday during the first of two public hearings that will be held in the state this month. There was standing room only at Monday's meeting, which was held at the Expo Center in Bad Axe. The meeting is part of an effort to receive comment from four regions in the state identified as having the highest level of wind energy harvest potential in a June 2 proposed report by the Wind Energy Resource Zone Board.
26 Aug 2009

Beware of the winds of change locally

Property owners in Eagle, Bengal and Dallas townships of Clinton County have been approached by developers to install industrial wind power plant farms. Are they coming to your township too? These wind turbines affect the surrounding area, maybe even for miles within the view-shed. Evidence about the effects to our health, safety and declining property values are surfacing throughout this country, due to these 400' monsters.
31 May 2009

Windmills on the Water? 'Potential is high' for offshore wind power

The windswept Great Lakes could play host to an industry some believe could help revive Michigan's comatose economy and fulfill state and national mandates for cleaner, renewable energy. ...Nothing's imminent, but state and federal environmental regulators are preparing for the possibility that utility developers may want to harness wind power from Lake Michigan and the other big lakes.
1 Mar 2009

Life at 1,500 ft

When we're outside, the noise created by the turbine echoes off the buildings and seems to be amplified. When the wind is strong, the noise is masked, but about 75% of the time, the turbines are the dominant sound outside. A big concern we have at this time, is that as the weather improves (which we hope it will soon) windows will open, weather proofing will be removed and the noise that dominates the outdoors will intrude on the indoors even more. At 1500 ft, we thought we may be safe, but we were mistaken. I don't know what the answer is for setbacks, but 1500 ft. is to close.
20 Feb 2009

Wind turbine setbacks threaten our community

Current setbacks in Michigan allow a wind turbine to be constructed only 1,000 feet from an adjacent residence without the homeowners consent. This rule applies to all inhabited structures including schools, hospitals, churches, and public libraries. This distance of 1,000 feet is an arbitrary guideline recommended by the state of Michigan. Some residents who live too close to wind turbines complain of noise pollution and shadow flicker. Health problems and sleep disturbances have been documented in people living within one and a half miles of turbines.
20 Feb 2009

Wind farmer looking to harvest a windfall

Michigan’s first commercial wind farm –a collection of 32 towering turbines that conjure visions of H. G. Wells’ “The War of the Worlds”—is scheduled to begin operating in a few weeks, spurring for some a near-gold rush mentality in this sparsely populated area. Thousands of dollars in a guaranteed annual harvest comes with each windmill placed on a farmer’s land, and that lure has gone a long way toward interrupting the horizontal sameness of vast corn and bean fields. “I can’t wait ‘til they get going,” said Bob Webber, who turned over easement rights to a portion of his property in Huron County for a proposed second wind farm, with 42 turbines. ...The support, however, is not unanimous. In the northernmost part of the county, along the shoreline of Lake Huron, critics have raised objections about the windmill’s potential impact on birds and property values. This is a lake resort area, popular in the summertime. It’s an eagle nesting site and part of the migratory path of thousands of tundra swans. “Our township is unique because it is resort and agricultural,” said Louis Colletta, the planning commission chairman for Lake Township. The township last month rejected DTE’s request to set up testing towers to measure the speed and consistency of the wind.
10 Dec 2007

Public safety, community benefits some of the questions asked about wind farms

Schmidt's Sherman Township neighborhood is targeted by two developers for the setting of wind turbines. "This is going to make a dramatic difference to the personality of the neighborhood," he told a group of citizens gathered at Tustin Community Center Oct. 4 for a public discussion on the planned wind farms. Proposals by Heritage Sustainable Energy, LLC and Babcock & Brown Renewable Energy Holdings, Inc. call for the installation of dozens of 2.5 megawatt turbines across Osceola, Wexford and Missaukee counties. Turbine towers plus blades will each exceed 400 feet. "We're zoned residential and agriculture," Schmidt said. "This is industrial. These are big, bad boys."
16 Oct 2007

The Wind Power Debate Continues to Produce Crosswinds of Controversy

From Barton, Vermont, to the German border with Denmark and from the shores of Lake Huron, to the Romney Marches of southern England, wind power advocates are fighting crosswinds from local residents. In Barton in mid-January, a referendum overwhelmingly rejected the wind power turbines that were planned near this upper Vermont community. ...In Germany, where one-third of the world's current wind power is generated, doubters have provoked a loud debate. The company that owns the grid that includes nearly half the wind-farms in Germany reported its wind farms generated only 11 percent of their capacity. The company said the winds vary so much the wind farm had to be backed 80 percent by the conventional power grid.
27 Jan 2007
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