On line newspaper mlive.com is reporting that preparations and study is actively underway to create a 100 megawatt wind farm at Muskegon County’s wastewater treatment site. The $300 million project is being developed by Gamesa, a wind-turbine manufacturer and wind-farm developer. This would be the fifth wind development project that Gamesa has been involved with in the United States.
Preparations include measuring wind speed and duration at the 11,000 acre site. In addition the County is plotting current underground pipes and other utility’s to make way for transmission lines to the estimated 52 turbine project.
Headquartered in Spain, Gamesa has been working for 15 years’ in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, with more than 23,000 megawatts installed in 30 countries. Gamesa has 31 production facilities in Europe, the US, China, India and Brazil and 8,000 employees worldwide.
Bruce Goodman from Varnum Law reports that a petition is being circulated to place an alternative energy question before Michigan voters this November. The coalition, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters seeks to add a constitutional ammendment to ensure that 25% of the state’s energy is generated by renewable sources.
On January 20th, the Michigan Board of Canvassers gave approval to circulate petitions to put the question of Michigan generating 25% of energy from renewable sources by 2025 and place it on the November ballot.
The petition drive must collect more than 300,000 valid signatures to get the question on the ballot.
Bad Axe, Michigan – Local State Rep. Kurt E. Damrow, from Port Austin Michigan introduced proposed legislation creating a unique tax for commercial wind, biomass and solar systems. This proposal is being reviewed by the Michigan House Committee on Tax Policy. House Bills 5278 and 5279 to create an Alternative Commercial Energy Systems (ACES).
The new tax introduced by Damrow would be the greater of; a yearly flat tax based on capacity, or $4 per megawatt hour generated for sale that year. The minimum tax for any commerical system would be $15,400 a year for one megawatt systems. If passed this would affect small commercial operations occuring on several farms in Michigan.
The bills are viewed as a response to replacement for the personal property on tax wind developments which reduced local tax revenue. ACES would effectively replace a portion of those lost revenues.
While lagging behind the rest of the country, Michigan is showing strong growth in commercial wind farm projects. A survey of Michigan wind energy projects showed that in 2011 there are 205 turbines producing 340 Megawatts. Estimates of additional wind projects underway look to add another 205 turbines producing 340 Megawatts over the next two years.
ThumbWind.com is finalizing a survey on this growth and will publish its findings in the next few days.