According to filings made with the FAA, a new industrial wind turbine is coming to the Grand Traverse Area. The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a construction permit to the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa indians to build a 492 foot wind turbine north of M-72 between Acme and Williamsburg northeast of Traverse City. Read a copy of the FAA’s determination letter here, or read the summary here. The company seeking the permit on behalf of the tribe is NativeEnergy of Burlington, VT. According to the permit construction is scheduled to begin in August of 2013 and be concluded by October of next year.
According to a July 22, 2012 article in the Traverse City Record Eagle (Click Here), the wind turbine is situated on a 159 acre parcel which the Tribe is trying to place into trust for a “potential winery”, solar facility, biomass facility or a wind farm. By placing the land in trust, local government would no longer receive $19,500 in property taxes on the property. Placing in the land in trust also has the effect of eliminating local planning and building regulations, which would be helpful if someone wanted to erect a 492-foot high industrial wind turbine.
Here is the turbine location:
The Band received a $160,500 federal grant in 2009 to “enhance their Renewable Energy Strategic Plan and develop a plan to implement wind energy for Tribal facilities.” According to the US Government’s stimulus website, recovery.gov, the plan is more than 50% completed as of June 30, 2012. The project was expected to create 0.04 jobs. (That’s four-hundredths of a job.)
The transfer of the lands to the tribe requires the permission of the U.S. Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. It seems as if the Department has not yet made a decision on this matter.
For some background on the transfer of this parcel of land, download a packet of materials prepared for August’s Acme township meeting.