2016 Huron County Michigan Looks for Ways to Cap Growth of Wind Energy Development
Life here is ‘living nightmare’
This was the headline that greeted Huron Daily Tribune news readers in early March. Residents are becoming dismayed over the number and effect that 100’s of wind turbines have had in the tip of the Thumb. Residents are voicing increasing concerns about the 328 turbines now in place. Margo Barry who lives in Oliver Township noted that “… pristine farm fields are gone, and in place is a blight of huge white towers and spinning blades, and our quality of life has been taken away, replaced with a pollution of never-ending noise, shadow flicker, red blinking lights and health issues for many.”
Beyond the aesthetics, there are new safety concerns. In February a 160-foot, 7-ton wind turbine blade broke during high winds, leaving it dangling and wrapped around the tower. A few days later a 425-foot turbine collapsed in Oliver Township during a snowstorm. The owner, Exelon Wind Generation noted it was only the second failure of this kind of turbine over a total global installed base of 7,000 units. The 485,000-pound turbine fell while in an idle state in the early morning hours of February 25th. No one was injured.
Development continues of adding up to 140 turbines in the county over the next 18 months. An attorney representing Huron County has begun the investigation of limiting the number of turbines. Also in the Thumb, three Sanilac County townships recently approved a moratorium or rejected wind energy ordinances. A fourth, Bridgehampton Township, is exploring a moratorium.
Current Wind Energy Projects Planned in 2016
30 turbines in Winsor and McKinley townships
72 turbines in Dwight, Lincoln and Huron townships.
10 turbines in Rubicon Township
30 turbines in Oliver, Chandler and Colfax townships.