Wind turbine proposal under FAA review

ROGERS CITY — The Federal Aviation Administration is evaluating whether proposed wind turbines in Moltke Township would obstruct air traffic at the Rogers City Airport.

The FAA is evaluating 46 potential wind turbine locations, Presque Isle County Airport Manager Alan Stiller said. Stiller said he was told by the proposed wind turbine developers there would be 66 wind turbine locations.

The FAA performs obstruction evaluations whenever a tall structure is planned within a 25-mile radius of the airport. He said a permit must be filed with the FAA for any structures that would exceed 200 feet.

The proposed wind turbines would be 574 feet tall, according to the FAA.

“All of these towers have the potential to penetrate the airspace,” Stiller said.

Stephen Gust, president of Sstar Ridge-Run Energy, backers of the proposed wind turbines, could not be reached for comment on Monday.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro said the evaluations would determine whether a structure would obstruct airplanes flying into or out of the airport.

Molinaro said Presque Isle County officials would still determine whether the wind turbine project goes forward, but, “if it’s an issue where it could change a flight pattern or not allow an airport to use a runway, we make sure the airport knows that, and any kind of local officials know that, so they can make the proper decision.”

Molinaro said a permit has to be filed with the FAA for each wind turbine site because every location has its own coordinates and each of those sites are evaluated individually. He said it could be “a few months” before the FAA’s evaluation is complete.

Stiller said the proposed turbines cover an area in Moltke Township about 12 miles long near Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm. He said the proposed locations run north to south, with a few of the sites north of M-68 and a few south of M-68.

Presque Isle County Building and Zoning Official Mike Libby said the county has not received any formal plans from the developers. Libby said the county will need documents for engineering, the site plan to ensure the project meets all setbacks, and a building permit for each wind turbine.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.


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