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huron county

Solar panels
Ford Motor Company / Flickr

Huron County is developing a solar energy ordinance after a renewable energy company said it wants to build about a dozen solar farms in the area.

MLive reports California-based Cypress Creek Renewables has been pitching the idea to county residents in the county at the northern tip of Michigan's "Thumb" region.

A wind turbine above a barn
jettajet / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The state of Michigan’s renewable energy mandate requires energy providers to supply 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2022. So far, all of Michigan’s providers are on track to meet that goal.

Wind energy has been a big part of that success. In Michigan’s Thumb, which includes Huron, Tuscola, and Sanilac Counties, wind farms have become a part of the landscape.

But wind energy is also facing resistance in that part of the state. In early May, voters in Huron County, where there are 475 wind turbines in operation, rejected proposals to allow the development of two new wind farms.

wind turbines
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DTE is looking to focus its wind energy development beyond Huron County after voters there rejected proposals to expand the number of wind turbines in their county.

Huron County has more wind turbines that any other county in Michigan. That's thanks to the favorable winds that make that part of the Thumb ideal for wind energy projects.  

But on Tuesday, voters overwhelmingly rejected two proposals to add dozens more. One of the proposals would have let DTE erect up to 70 additional wind turbines.

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Last night (May 2) voters in Ann Arbor and Kent County approved funding for schools. Two proposals that would have allowed the construction of wind farms spanning several townships in Huron County were defeated.

'Wind farm' takes on a new, and for some uncomfortable' meaning in Huron County
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The future of wind turbines in Huron County goes before voters Tuesday.

The county already has the largest number of turbines in Michigan, with 475 turbines already operating.   

Tuesday’s ballot questions would open the door to another hundred or more.

That’s not what farmer Robert Gaffke wants.  

He raises cattle and sheep on his 200-acre organic farm in Port Hope.    Gaffke doesn’t have any turbines on his property, but says the turbines are slowly spilling across the property line on his neighbor’s land.   The blades make a noticeable wooshing sound.