Consumers Energy designed the 100-megawatt (MW) Lake Winds Energy Park to meet or exceed the requirements of local zoning, permitting and building codes. The wind farm also complies with applicable federal, state and local requirements to protect human health and the environment.
Consumers Energy chose Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc. to supply 56 V100-1.8-megawatt wind turbine generators for this project, which was the most efficient turbine for the region’s wind speeds.
Consumers Energy selected White Construction Inc. as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project because of a competitive price, experience and history of good working relationships with landowners and communities during the construction phase of previous wind park projects.
Consumers Energy expects Lake Winds Energy Park to meet or fall well below the Mason County zoning requirements for sound and shadow flicker. In addition, all of the background studies prepared for the filing showed the project will have minimal environmental impacts including impacts on migratory birds and bats.
: The maximum predicted sound level at an occupied structure located on a participating parcel is 45.5 dBA (County limit = 55 dBA). The maximum predicted sound level at the external property lines of non-participating parcels with an occupied structure will not exceed 45 dBA (County limit = 45 dBA). These levels are lower than commonly used industry standards.
: The project has been laid out to minimize “flicker,” the shadows of rotating turbine blades. Homes near the turbines may experience a few minutes of flicker per day, at some times of the year, but 94 percent will experience only 10 hours total a year or less. Consumers Energy will mitigate any shadow flicker at the residence of any unpooled parcel exceeding the maximum zoning requirement of 10 hours per year.
Consumers Energy undertook two years of wildlife studies based on recommendations from the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources when considering placement of a wind energy farm in the Project area. These studies included two years of avian studies, including song bird breeding, and large bird migration completed by Dr Joelle Gehring of Michigan Natural Features Inventory. No federally endangered or threatened bird species are likely to breed on site. A letter from MDNRE indicates that the wind turbines should have no impact on rare and unique natural features. In addition, construction and operation of the wind farm is not likely to have an adverse effect on the Indiana bat, an endangered species, or the eastern pipistrelle, a species of special concern in Michigan based on studies completed by Dr. Allan Kurta of Eastern Michigan University.
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