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GRDadof3

Possible windfarms in the works in Kent/Ottawa Counties?

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How did this one slip under the MSM radar? RapidGrowth picked it up from the Northwest Advance.

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Though several years away at the earliest, Heritage Sustainable Energy hopes to erect a MET (meteorological evaluation tower) to test wind speeds and viability in the near future.

Close to securing enough land for wind farm, says company

by Jan Holst

Tuesday January 08, 2008, 11:54 AM

Is the Ridge* the place for the next wind farm?

That question has been blowing around the area for at least two years and now once again at least one energy company is in the area, working to secure landowner lease agreements for test turbines.

..Although energy companies, such as Heritage Sustainable Energy, have been casing the Ridge for nearly two years, actual construction of a wind farm is still years away, said Rick Wilson, project manager.

"We are very close in the Fruit Ridge area to having enough land secured to put in a MET (meteorological evaluation tower)," he said. "We try to assemble a block of land of significant size, about 3,000 to 5,000 acres plus to accommodate a wind farm of several turbines."

Northwest Advance

The least agreements that they are seeking would allow the farmers to continue farming, but would maintain a permanent easement on the property (maybe even to minimize future land development?).

http://www.rapidgrowthmedia.com/inthenews/wind0110.aspx

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I love this idea. The world is going to have to realize that concepts like this are needed in an atmosphere of ever-diminishing resources. Some would say that these dotting the landscape is "ugly" or "obtrusive". I say the same thing when I see a 20 - foot Hummer in front of my VW. Actually, I really like the look of these towers. It definitely says to the outside world, "We are progressing." Hooray for this.

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I love this idea. The world is going to have to realize that concepts like this are needed in an atmosphere of ever-diminishing resources. Some would say that these dotting the landscape is "ugly" or "obtrusive". I say the same thing when I see a 20 - foot Hummer in front of my VW. Actually, I really like the look of these towers. It definitely says to the outside world, "We are progressing." Hooray for this.

I agree. I saw the new one in Sault Ste Marie, Canada last year in person and "ugly" was about the last word anyone in our group would use. "Jaw dropping" and "awe-inspiring" were probably better adjectives. It's actually quite a visitor's attraction.

Puget Sound Wind Farm

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I agree on the "Jaw dropping" and "awe-inspiring." Does this have any relevance to the Wege land thread? I know it bars any development, but I'm just putting it out there.

My inner Hollander reaffirms my love of wind power. :thumbsup:

Edited by Rizzo

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My inner Hollander reaffirms my love of wind power. :thumbsup:

Interesting mix - Italian/Hollander - I bet you would be fun to party with!!! ;)

Edited by cheshireguy

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I agree on the "Jaw dropping" and "awe-inspiring." Does this have any relevance to the Wege land thread? I know it bars any development, but I'm just putting it out there.

My inner Hollander reaffirms my love of wind power. :thumbsup:

In a way, the issues could be related. Wege's donation was part of the Kent County PDR (Purchase of Development Rights) Program, which bars any development on the land but does not open it up for public use. The townships and cities that surround The Ridge (Sparta, Walker, Alpine Township, Kent City, Conklin, Grant, etc.) have been extremely worried about farmers selling their land to developers as it becomes harder and harder to profitably farm. And it's some of Michigan's most prime and productive farmland, and some of the only areas in Michigan where fruit can be grown thanks to the soil conditions and the moisture/temperate zones created by Lake Michigan.

Maybe a large wind farm would solve multiple issues: 1) help offset income for farmers 2) Keep the land undesirable for housing 3) create more energy for West Michigan's energy grid 4) Not require taxpayer funding to put the land into the PDR program

5000 acres is almost 8 square miles, and if they approached a farmer in Conklin (per the article), they might be looking at this entire area (which is really about 25 square miles total):

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It looks like there's a little spot of pink in that area. Might we see another wind farm in the area between Grand Rapids and Holland?

MI_Final_SPD100m_9Sept04_115627_7.jpg

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In a urban planning course I took at GVSU we talked about how farmers could make more money to make ends meet. Generally farm areas are very large in acreage. So large that the number of people per square mile can be as little as one family. No matter how large a farm is it can prove to be a poor producer of income. The best option for farmers is to usually just sell the land to developers. However, seeing as how the giant wind mills cannot be an eyesore (due to no eyes being able to see it) the value of placing them on the same land that is cultivated can prove to be very lucrative. Doing this as opposed to selling the land outright has a two-fold affect. It preserves farmland for future populations and slows down sprawl (not to mention helps clean the environment).

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I've always thought the spot I live in, in hudsonville, is the windiest place on earth. It is always windy. When i drive to work, no wind, friends, no wind, parents, no wind, my spot in the cess-pool of ottawa county, windy.

I don't know why we in MI have been so slow to pick up on wind generated power.

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I bet they will select a site that is close to an Elecrical Transmission line. My Dad has mentioned that in Mason County (where they live) there have been several areas they are looking at up there. Each one is basically on or near elecrical transmission lines. They say this is thier first choice because of the ease to tap into the elecrical grid thus keeping the project costs down. GRDad, are there any tranmission lines in the ares you circled above?

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I bet they will select a site that is close to an Elecrical Transmission line. My Dad has mentioned that in Mason County (where they live) there have been several areas they are looking at up there. Each one is basically on or near elecrical transmission lines. They say this is thier first choice because of the ease to tap into the elecrical grid thus keeping the project costs down. GRDad, are there any tranmission lines in the ares you circled above?

There's a big sub-station @ the intersection of 4 Mile & Bristol. Not sure if there's anything closer to the Ridge.

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I have friends who has been to the Scandanavian countries, and they say these are commonplace, accepted, and an expected form of power. Some are viewed as giant works of art - I agree.

PS - 100 posts! Who said I spend too much time on the CPU?????

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Speaking of Hollanders, the Holland Board of public works has done extensive testing and, ironically, the best spot for a modern wind generating device in Holland is right where the Black River meets Lake Macatawa. Yep... Windmill Island! Too bad that 250 year old windmill can only grind grain... ;)

They've also tested several areas along the dunes but with mixed results. Tulip City airport gets in the way on the south side of town (what with the height restrictions, etc).

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There's a big sub-station @ the intersection of 4 Mile & Bristol. Not sure if there's anything closer to the Ridge.

There are high-powered lines that run East/West between 6 Mile and 7 Mile Roads around Alpine Ave that I've noticed before. There are also some big ones that run North/South between Bristol and Alpine (actually they also run through the Cabela's development property). I don't know where they go West of there. If they can tap into those lines, that's probably within a 10 - 15 mile radius of all points on The Ridge.

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Speaking of Hollanders, the Holland Board of public works has done extensive testing and, ironically, the best spot for a modern wind generating device in Holland is right where the Black River meets Lake Macatawa. Yep... Windmill Island! Too bad that 250 year old windmill can only grind grain... ;)

They've also tested several areas along the dunes but with mixed results. Tulip City airport gets in the way on the south side of town (what with the height restrictions, etc).

Hollanders love thier wind. When I was in the Netherlands there were TOOOOONS of modern "Windmills" so to speak, especially along the North Sea. When I was on the Afsluitdijk the winds were at LEAST 50mph constant. They had a ton of them in Germany too, didn't see many in Italy or France.

Question (which I could easily look up but i'm lazy), how do they "start" the spinning process, is it pure wind that starts it, or is there an electrical assist? How much do those things weigh...

nevermind, i'll just go look :P

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There are high-powered lines that run East/West between 6 Mile and 7 Mile Roads around Alpine Ave that I've noticed before. There are also some big ones that run North/South between Bristol and Alpine (actually they also run through the Cabela's development property). I don't know where they go West of there. If they can tap into those lines, that's probably within a 10 - 15 mile radius of all points on The Ridge.

That would be cool if Cabela's could open up "off the grid". I think it would support their business model!

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There are high-powered lines that run East/West between 6 Mile and 7 Mile Roads around Alpine Ave that I've noticed before. There are also some big ones that run North/South between Bristol and Alpine (actually they also run through the Cabela's development property). I don't know where they go West of there. If they can tap into those lines, that's probably within a 10 - 15 mile radius of all points on The Ridge.

The big ones that run north/south between Bristol and Alpine were right across the street from the house I grew up in. When the link to the bird's eye view map was posted the other day, I followed the lines - they ran south, over the river, and over to a sub-station on Race St/Fuller by the Elbow Room. I tried to follow north, but the bird's eye view ran out at about 3 Mile. You can't see the lines via the satelite images on yahoo or google.

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I love the idea of throwing more wind turbines up, but it's even better that this project is seeking to keep farmers on the land!

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I love the look of windmills. You run into a few on the way to Traverse City. I think up close they are eerie looking; but really cool on the landscape. I'd take a windmill over a billboard anyday.

I wonder if this talk of a windfarm is in any part related to Consumer's Engery Green Program where they "buy" the green energy. If the program was successful; perhaps this is an effort to add more green to the grid?

Just speculation, but I fully hope this goes through. Its excellent for W. Michigan.

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Here's a thought. The developers of this project should buy an upper unit on the North side of River House so that they can show off their project. Heck, maybe even a penthouse on that side. If you're supposed to be able to see Lake Michigan from the top floors, I would imagine you will be able to see The Ridge and this wind farm (if it gets built). How sweet would that be? :shades:

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Ran across this on another forum...

http://reporternews.com/news/2008/jan/10/s...turbines-in-us/

0111_loc_talltower.jpg

Scurry can boast of tallest wind turbines in U.S.

Reporter-News Staff Report

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Big Country is home to the world's largest wind farm. Now it can boast tallest wind turbines in the United States.

Enel North America Inc. announced Thursday the completion of the Snyder Wind project with the tallest utility-scale wind turbines in the United States.

The Snyder Wind project in Scurry County, about 80 miles northwest of Abilene, has 21 3.0 megawatt wind turbines mounted on towers measuring 345 feet. Other wind farms in the area have towers that are about 200 feet tall.

The Snyder Wind project has a capacity of 63 megawatts. By comparison, the Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center, southwest of Abilene, has a 735-megawatt capacity. Horse Hollow is the world's largest wind farm.

And for anyone wondering how in the world these things are constructed...

Edited by jbr12

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Some would say that these dotting the landscape is "ugly" or "obtrusive". I say the same thing when I see a 20 - foot Hummer in front of my VW.

Amen to that!

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A Yahoo! News article on the subject...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/whatev...n0HBJKyfMoDW7oF

Whatever Happened to Wind Energy?

Michael Schirber

Special to LiveScience

LiveScience.com Tue Jan 15, 5:31 PM ET

Editor's Note: This article is part of an occasional LiveScience series about ideas to ease humanity's impact on the environment.

ADVERTISEMENT

Towering wind turbines have become the symbol of renewable energy, but the literally high profile of wind energy may be its biggest drawback.

"It really kills the view to have mile after mile of wind turbines," said Howard Hayden, a retired physicist and renewable energy skeptic who distributes The Energy Advocate, a monthly newsletter.

At least 260,000 turbines, each 300 feet tall, would be required to meet the United States' electricity needs.

.....

Honestly... if wind could be harnessed to its potential, we could be a country that has ZERO traditional power plants. Are you serious?!?

I realize the reality of that is slim to none, but it is amazing to think about

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Don't they stick these things in remote places anyway? I remember seeing one of these somewhere near TC and thinking how majestic it was. You become so enthralled in the purpose that the last thing you worry about is what's behind it.

Edited by Rizzo

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260,000... that's all - lower than I would have expected.

recall, total U.S. land area - 3,794,066 square miles.

I wonder how these things handle in winter. I ask because there are huge swaths of uninhabited tundra in northern Canada and Alaska where these things could be built with minimal environmental impact. Just a thought.

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