Akansas Company to supply Turbines for Michigan Wind Farm


Nordex in Jonesboro to Help Fill Order for Michigan Wind Farm – ArkansasBusiness.com.

Nortex, an Arkansas company announced that it will supply 34 wind turbines to Exelon Wind LLC for the Beebe Community Wind Farm in Gratiot County, Michigan.

Work will start on the site in May, and turbines are scheduled to be delivered in September. The 2.4-megawatt turbines, on 91 meter towers, will be located on 21,000 acres near Ithaca, Mich., about 45 miles north of Lansing.

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Lake Township Residents Strike Down Wind Ordinance


Lake Township, Michigan – Feb 28, 2012. In a special referendum held during the Michigan Republican primary’s, the residents of Lake Township Michigan stuck down a wind ordinance that would have allowed immediate development of wind farms along the tip of Michigan’s Thumb.  Locals estimated that there were five to ten turbines being earmarked for the area. The vote was 207 to 128 opposing development. There are approximately 320 families living in Lake.

The vote aligns the township with growing trend of curtailing wind farm growth. On February 22 the Merritt Township Planning Board in Bay County Michigan struck down a nine turbine project being developed by NextEra.

Conflicting Tax Bills Confound Wind Projects.


Confusion reigned as this theme this week in coming up with a suitable tax scenario covering the renewal energy sector in Michigan. The Michigan Policy Network is reporting that there may be a feud developing with Senate Bill No. 391 and other tax impacting bills.

No. 391 was introduced by State Senate Republicans Michael Green, Roger Kahn, Thomas Casperson, and James Marleau in 2011.  Senate Bill No 391 seeks to classify wind farms as real property for property tax purposes. The bill would classify wind farms the same as land and buildings, rather than business equipment – enabling wind developments eligible for certain tax breaks and exemptions. The problem is that this tax break would generate a substantial loss of revenue for local governments. It’s estimated that passage of Senate Bill 328 would result in a projected loss of $7.8 million over twenty years from a single wind farm project located in Mason County.

Meanwhile the State House has come up with a plan entitled Alternative Commercial Energy Systems (ACES) within House Bills 5278 and 5279 to help restore the funding to local communities lost by the declaration of wind farms as real property.  ACES was introduced By Republican Representative Kurt Damrow (R-Port Austin Twp). If lawmakers in Lansing approve the ACES tax, wind farms would make ACES payments. The payments either would be a base fee that’s established for each system based on the rated megawatt hours each unit will produce, or $4 per megawatt hour generated for sale.

As things stand the real winner look to be the wind farm owners. The Michigan Townships Association reported that as the House Tax Policy Committee took testimony this week on Damrow’s ACES bill it was met with comments by local officials from across the state that they felt betrayed by the state because the significant reduction in assessed values will mean far less tax revenues going to the communities that must deal with the negative impacts associated with the turbines.

Lake Township Wipes Out Beach Easement Zoning


Lake Township, Michigan. Feb 22, 2012 – Despite pleas from local residents and numerous letters from seasonal owners, the Lake Township Planning Board struck down an ordnance put in place in 2008 that has served to place usage restrictions on private easements. The ordinance served to restrict the number of boat hoists on private beach easements and prevent storage of boats, hoists, docks and rafts during the winter months. Local property owners lobbied for the restrictions in 2007 because beach easements  were crowded with hoists in the water and becoming dumping grounds for abandoned boats and hoists from nearby cottages.

In comment and written correspondence to the Planning board there was a public comment of 10 to 3 of keeping Section 1203.4 in place with the beach easement zoning restrictions. Regardless, the board killed  the measure. The  Lake Township Planning board consists of Dave Szumlinski, Dale Hartsell, Jeff Krohn, Paul Golsch, and Gordon Krueger.

Township May Cede Jurisdiction Back to Huron County

Comments by local residents to ThumbWind.com have hinted that the Lake Township Planning Board may give up its oversight of private beach easements to Huron County. It’s expected that the Lake Township Board will now vote on adopting Huron county’s zoning.  Calls to Huron County zoning board cited county ordinances that prevent storage of boats, hoists, on easements. However there is still an open issue as to the number of boat hoists that may be placed off-shore of a private easement.

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Fun in Michigan's Upper Thumb

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