Ellington enacts one-year moratorium on wind turbines; Almer could be next

Residents and officials packed into the first meeting held by the new Almer Township board of trustees Tuesday. The board voted to discuss and possibly vote on a moratorium in December. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)
Residents and officials packed into the first meeting held by the new Almer Township board of trustees Tuesday. The board voted to discuss and possibly vote on a moratorium in December. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)

The newly elected board in Ellington Township passed a one-year moratorium on allowing wind turbines into the township, and their counterparts in Almer Township could do the same next month.

By a vote of 4-1, the Ellington board passed the one-year moratorium in a special meeting held Tuesday. The Almer Township also held a special meeting Tuesday and voted to discuss a similar moratorium at its Dec. 13 meeting.

The actions could affect Tuscola III Wind Energy Park planned by Tuscola III L.L.C. – a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources L.L.C.

The company filed applications for special land use permits in Almer, Ellington, and Fairgrove township in September for a $200 million wind turbine project.

But the new officials on both boards have had questions all along about wind ordinances in each community now in place, specifically taking issue with what they have consistently called “weak” regulations, and essentially being elected to office on that platform.

“It’s very clear to me what the voting population of residents in Ellington Township want, and this board is representing them, and we want to give them a proper ordinance that respects what we think they want – health, safety, and welfare,” said Russell Speirs, supervisor, Ellington Township. (Read more)

(This story originally appeared in the Nov. 26, 2016 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read online in its entirety here.)

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