CASNOVIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – The proposal to scatter dozens of massive wind turbines across parts of Kent and Muskegon counties is struggling to gain full approval.
Residents have sounded off on the Kenowa Ridge Wind Energy Project proposal for months.
On Thursday evening, the Casnovia Township Planning Commission tabled the vote, requesting more information from the developer, Sempra Renewables, before they decide if this project will receive the green light.
It was the fourth public meeting and the major topics were about what sights and sounds residents in the area can expect.
Outside experts talked about the “yah” noise the equipment creates.
They also laid out details on shadow light flickers that are created when the sun hits the rotors.
Mary Reilly, a representative from the Michigan State University Extension Office, presented at the meeting saying that the proposed 31 turbines will make noise and will create noticeable shadow light flicker.
Reilly clarified that there would be a sound limit of 55 decibels.
Sempra officials said their equipment would be well below that.
Reilly also said that the noise and amount of flicker a home or area will see depends on several factors, including wind speeds and time of year.
Most of the crowd made it clear that they don’t want the project to move forward.
Deb VanderHoff was one of the residents in the crowd coming to voice opposition.
“It’s horrible,” VanderHoff told 24 Hour News 8. “They want to bring in these towering pieces of steel with moving parts, that are way taller than the statue of liberty, into our nice peaceful farming community.”
The longtime resident cited property value, sound, and health concerns.
“I think it’s going to be shoved down our throat whether we like it or not,” said VanderHoff.
That wasn’t the case, at least for now.
The planning commission for the township pumped the brakes on voting after they asked questions about how badly construction on this project would damage their rural roads.
They also said they didn’t have a breakdown from Sempra showing how much money the Muskegon County township would see from the project.
“This community is not going to see that money,” VandenHoff worried.
A project representative said that he did, in fact, email the board a breakdown of how much economic benefit the township would see from the wind farm project. He said he sent it on Tuesday.
The planning commission has to approve a special use permit for the project to move forward then the township board would still have to vote.
Some of the proposed turbines would also go up Tyrone Township in Kent County.
The next meeting on this will be Nov 8.