2018-10-11 / Front Page

Heritage to install 20 new turbines

Work will commence this month on expansion project

GARDEN – Heritage Sustainable Energy, a renewable energy provider, has announced plans to commence construction of the proposed Garden Wind Farm expansion in Fairbanks Township. The company currently operates a 14-turbine wind farm in Garden.

“The project was approved by the Delta County Planning Commission earlier this year; a total of 36 turbine sites were approved at that time,” stated Xiomara Gerlach, project manager for Heritage.

Gerlach added that Heritage has continued to conduct studies and engineering. The company is now planning to install turbines at 20 of the approved sites.

The project will be installed in two stages in 2019 and 2020, with five turbine sites installed in 2019 and the remaining 15 turbine sites planned for installation by the end of 2020.

“We are excited to bring this project to fruition after a long planning and permitting process,” said Gerlach.

Heritage is planning to mobilize construction crews as early as the middle of October. Construction and electrical contracts have been awarded to Michigan companies Barton Malow Construction Company, of Southfield, and Detroit-based Motor City Electric Utilities.

Landowners in the area with wind ener- gy leases are also looking forward to the project coming on line.

“Our family farm has been in the Robere name for over 100 years,” said Herman and Ellen Robere of Fairbanks Township. “We are excited to be a part of the next phase of the wind energy development because the revenue from the wind farm could help keep the farm in the family for many more years to come.”

TJ Thomas, executive director of the Delta County Economic Development Alliance, expressed support for the project.

“The need for affordable and sustainable energy remains a top issue for the current and future economic development across our region,” he said. “The availability of renewable energy is a major factor that developers consider when qualifying a location for prospective investment.

Through the success of past projects in Delta County, Heritage Sustainable Energy has proven themselves to be a partner of our region’s local economy in terms of job creation, material purchases, contributions to an enhanced tax base; and generous donations to local schools and community services,” he continued. “We are proud to endorse this expansion project in our community and express our support.”

In 2012, Heritage completed the construction of the 14-turbine Garden Wind Farm Phase I, north of the Village of Garden. The installation of 20 additional turbines will bring the total to 34 wind turbines on the Garden Peninsula.

Heritage owns and operates wind and solar energy facilities across Michigan, totaling 141.2 megawatts of installed capacity. The Garden Expansion would add another 80 MW of clean energy generation to the company’s portfolio.

In an project update letter to Delta County Zoning Administrator Dan Menacher,

Heritage said the new 20-turbine wind farm will be operated pursuant to the conditional use permits dated April 3, 2018.

“As stated on Heritage’s Conditional Use Application, the Project will utilize Senvion turbines. At the time of the application and approval Heritage was considering two different models of the Senvion turbines for the project,” the letter reads. “The finalized plan for the project consists of a single model of the Senvion 4.0 M140 turbines on 82 m towers and includes 20 primary sites with five alternate locations.

All turbine locations, turbine height, and setback requirements remain the same as approved by the conditional use permit,” the letter continues. “Heritage plans to mobilize a civil crew for the installation of five access roads and a laydown yard for the project in the coming weeks.”

The letter goes on to state that additional construction activities for the first five turbines will resume in spring 2019 and will continue into September, when the five turbines are expected to be online.

For more information on Heritage Wind Energy, the Garden Wind Farm or the upcoming Fairbanks Township project, visit www.heritagewindenergy.com.

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