Almer Township board denies application for 19 wind turbines

The Almer Township board of trustees denied an application for special land use permit that would have cleared the way for a Florida-based energy company to erect 19 wind turbines in the community.

The board voted 5-1 after the Almer Township planning commission approved a motion on Jan. 4 to deny the application submitted by Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C.

The company needs special land use permit (often referred to as a “SLUP”) approval to construct the 19 wind turbines in Almer Township that are part of a proposed $200 million project called Tuscola III Wind Energy Center. The project consists of 52 total turbines and also includes parts of Ellington and Fairgrove townships.

“Almer Township’s denial of our SLUP was not only disappointing, but is unreasonable,” said Steven Stengel, director  of communications at NextEra Energy Resources. “Tuscola III is a well-considered project that meets or exceeds all the terms of the local wind ordinance.

“It’s designed to maintain the health and safety of residents and beneftis everyone in the community with clean energy, good jobs, added tax revenue and economic activity for local businesses.”

Jim Mantey, supervisor, Almer Township, said the township board “has a pretty consistent, long history of accepting the recommendations of the planning commission,” which recommended the denial.

Mantey said he recognized the duties of the board of Trustees and that the decision was one with “many potential consequences.” (Read more)

(This story originally appeared in the Jan. 21, 2017 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read online in its entirety here.)

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