This publication presents a zoning ordinance sample amendment for utility scale wind energy systems and smaller wind electric generation systems for an individual business or home. There are earlier versions of this document. They should not be used. There are significant and important updates and changes to this version. Do not use a version dated prior to Aug. 2017.
Guidelines for siting wind energy systems were released in Dec. 2005 by the Michigan Energy Office in the Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG). The DLEG guidelines are titled “Michigan Siting Guidelines for Wind Energy Systems,” and recently reformatted as sample zoning text (see left). The MSU Extension bulletin describes the most important provisions of the new guidelines and how they suggest handling the most common concerns of neighbors. It looks at the science behind the guidelines and provides a glossary and references for further reading. It concludes with a short list of Michigan communities that have adopted local planning and zoning laws about wind system siting. The new guidelines and this publication are meant to help local officials strike a balance between the need for clean, renewable energy resources and a local government’s responsibility to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
The board identified four regions as having the highest wind energy harvest potential. Exhibit 1 identifies the four regions, including the counties and townships located in whole or in part in these regions. These regions are not listed in any order of magnitude or importance. To calculate the minimum and maximum generating capacity and annual energy production potential for each region, the board assumed that there were no turbines placed within the boundaries of the villages and cities, as well as three townships.
The review concludes that while some people living near wind turbines report symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, and sleep disturbance, the scientific evidence available to date does not demonstrate a direct causal link between wind turbine noise and adverse health effects.The sound level from wind turbines at common residential setbacks is not sufficient to cause hearing impairment or other direct health effects, although some people may find it annoying.
In response to concerns, the American and Canadian Wind Energy Associations (AWEA and CanWEA) established a scientific advisory panel in early 2009 to conduct a review of current literature available on the issue of perceived health effects of wind turbines. This multidisciplinary panel is comprised of medical doctors, audiologists, and acoustical professionals from the United States, Canada, Denmark and the United Kingdom. The objective of the panel was to provide an authoritative reference document for legislators, regulators, and anyone who wants to make sense of the conflicting information about wind turbine sound.
A PowerPoint presentation on the impact of wind turbines on property values.
The concern that property values will be adversely affected by wind energy facilities is commonly put forth by stakeholders. Although this concern is not unreasonable, given property value impacts that have been found near high voltage transmission lines and other electric generation facilities, the impacts of wind energy facilities on residential property values had not previously been investigated thoroughly.
A PowerPoint presentation on the utility-scale wind energy development.
A series of fact sheets on perceptions of the impact of wind energy generation in coastal communities was just completed by MSU’s Land Policy Institute. The series is in response to the idea that windy, coastal communities will face pressure to develop wind farms now and for many years to come. The purpose of the fact sheets is to help understand the complex dynamics between communities, policy and the public.
This fact sheet examines how the respondents feel about their community, and potential changes to it, as related to wind energy development.
This fact sheet summarizes what coastal residents say are their policy priorities and identifies the types of energy infrastructure and associated policy incentives that policy makers should be examining.
This fact sheet explores what survey respondents say about who should regulate wind energy and how confident they feel in various aspects of the planning, zoning and regulatory process.
This fact sheet reviews the opinions of the survey respondents in regards to trust, fairness and exploitation in relation to the development of commercial wind energy.
This fact sheet addresses the potential impacts of wind development on a community and examines the level of knowledge survey respondents say they have about renewable energy and wind energy development.
This fact sheet provides an overview of the project and survey results, plus reviews methods used in the study.