CLINTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) -The Clinton County Board of Commissioners could consider passing a one-year-long moratorium on any large-scale solar or wind energy projects.
The unanimous vote from the county’s planning commission comes as large-scale green energy plants clash with residents’ concerns over the future of their rural farmland.
Thursday’s public hearing comes weeks after Clinton County’s Planning Commission first looked into a county ordinance on wind and solar that they called “outdated.”
More than a dozen people from around Clinton County shared their true feelings about solar and wind farms as the planning commission looks to move along a one-year moratorium on any large-scale clean energy projects.
“What do you see? more and more of these disgusting monstrosities, these wind turbines. I think you might as well be in H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds,” one resident said.
County officials said currently, there are no applications to set up any green energy plants on rural farmland that the commission oversees, but concerns about converting farmland, the environmental impact and devaluing of home properties have all been real topics of discussion.
There was little opposition to the moratorium with some Clinton County residents pushing back on concerns they say have been solved in other projects
“The facts are what matter. I’ve been in townships where they have been worried about the groundwater, worried about wildlife or whatever. We have projects now all around us. Delta Township, Lapeer County. You got another one a couple of miles away,” said Ed Rivet, executive director of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum Advocacy.
After the passing vote, Vice Chair Patti Schafer said developing a newer and robust wind and solar ordinance will take time. One that will need input from all sides, from small townships to energy companies.
“You know the attorneys got a lot of work ahead of them if we want to get this done in a year. And I do agree with some people that we do need to seek out extra sources,” said Schafer.
The proposed moratorium now goes to the county commissioners for a vote at the end of this month.
The planning commission is now tasked with trying to select an advisory board to look into a new ordinance.