Tag Archives: Wind Turbines

Explore Renewable Energy and Tour Wind Farms in Michigan’s Upper Thumb

The question was simple enough. “Does anyone offer a Tour of the Wind Farms in the Upper Thumb?” We had been to a wind farm tour during the Cheeseburger in Caseville festival in August but we were unsure about getting a tour the rest of the year. So we were pleased to discover that DTE Energy has a Discovery Center in Michigan’s Upper Thumb. Touring a Wind Farm can be another thing to do if you’re visiting Caseville, Port Austin or Harbor Beach this summer. 


Wind Farm Tours Available from Harbor Beach 4th of July Weekend

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We also found that tours are going to be available from Harbor Beach’s Maritime Festival on July 6 and 7th.  DTE will offer free guided tours leaving Friday and Saturday at 10am, Noon and 2pm. You will tour the Sigle Wind farm in the eastern Upper Thumb. Sigel is one of three DTE Energy’s first wholly-owned and constructed wind parks and was energized on Dec. 21, 2012.

The facility is located on 15,000 acres spread over roughly 600 square miles in Huron and Sanilac Counties in Michigan. The total generation facility includes 69 wind turbines, three electrical substations, and associated electrical collection system. The parks generate 110 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, capable of powering 25,000 homes in Michigan. 


Group Tours of Michigan’s Upper Thumb Wind Farms

If you have a family, a workgroup or a bunch of friends that would like to explore and tour a wind farm, tours can be scheduled by calling Michael Sage at 989.269.5805.

DTE Discovery Center Bad Axe


Hands-On Exploration of Michigan’s Renewable Energy

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The Discovery Center is equipped with state-of-the-art multi-media capabilities and renewable energy education videos. You can make your own wind turbine and actually create your own electricity with some hands-on interactive displays. You can also view the operations control center that manages all the wind farms that DTE operates in the Thumb. The Discovery Center is located within the Huron Renewable Energy Center, a management and operation center created from a closed retail store that DTE renovated and opened in 2016.

The Discovery Center’s also offers educational videos focus on how renewable energy came to be such a major part of Michigan’s Upper Thumb and how the technology is contributing to Michigan’s economy. The Discovery Center is located at DTE’s Huron Renewable Energy Center at 1000 S Van Dyke Avenue in Bad Axe.


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2012 – Wind Secessionists Looked to Carve Up Lake Township in Huron County Michigan

This post was published in May 2012 at the hight of new zoning in Lake Township. While the split did not occur, it denotes the deep wounds that wind development can incur on a community.

Huron County, Michigan – Twenty-one large landowners, unhappy with the outcome of a public referendum vote in February which curtailed the unbridled development of wind turbines in the shoreline community are looking at succeeding from Lake Township. This move looks to attempt to circumvent the result which was 207 to 128 opposing development. There are approximately 320 families living in Lake.

The secessionists have hired attorney William Fahey of Okemos to request Lake and Chandler Townships form an arrangement utilizing Michigan Public Act 425 to conditionally transfer their properties to Chandler Township. This would allow energy companies such as DTE to use their land for wind energy development. If allowed, Lake Township’s area would shrink by 40% by ceding the land to Chandler Township. It’s also unclear if those not wishing to leave the township will be forced to also move to comply with the provision of contiguous borders outlined in the Act. The patch work of  landowners who wish to succeed are denoted in Pink in the map below.

Secessionist are denoted in Pink.

The issue will be discussed in a special meeting this evening, May 21st, at 7:30pm at the American Legion Hall at 4995 N. Caseville Road, Caseville, MI.

“What Have I Done” – Farmers Regret Saying Yes To Turbines

Re-posted from 2012

By  signing that contract, I signed away the control of the family  farm, 

and it’s the biggest regret I have ever experienced and will ever experience.”

Gary Steinich, Cambria, Wisconsin. June 2011

A sad and disheartening story of three Wisconsin farmer’s experiences with a wind developers. The first is a personal narrative of Gary Steinich’s dealing with Florida Power and Light near the Wisconsin Town of Cambria. He outlines how he was lied too, sees huge portions of his land taken out of production, fields sub-divided by access roads and cable rights of way, removal of 1000’s tons of top soil and how he has to ask permission to walk on his own property.


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This is an open letter first posted in 2011. It includes pictures of development taking place and an actual copy of the lease that Gary and his father signed. Truly recommended reading if you’re considering signing a wind farm lease.


Wind Farm Construction

The important message here is to hire an attorney experienced with wind lease agreements and land zoning and mineral rights.

Wisconsin Farmers Regrets Saying Yes To Turbines


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Awesome! – See a 400 foot Wind Turbine Built in Five Minutes

The folks at MidAmerican  Energy put together this terrific video that shows the entire process of raising a wind turbine like those in the Thumb. The video is a little over five minutes and includes factoids during the entire process.

MidAmerican Energy Company, Iowa’s largest energy company, provides electric service to 732,000 customers and natural gas service to 714,000 customers in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and South Dakota. It is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.