Construction on Phase I (111 MW) Cross Winds® Energy Park in Tuscola County was completed at the end of 2014. There are 3 phases so the total potential CWEP is 200+ MW. Designs for the wind farm met or exceeded the requirements of local zoning, permitting and building codes. They also complied with applicable federal, state and local requirements to protect human health, safety and welfare, and to minimize impacts to the environment and local wildlife.
We signed a contract with General Electrics to supply 62 wind turbine generators each with a 1.79 MW capacity for the project. These were the most efficient turbines available for the region’s wind speeds.
Our team considered a variety of factors when selecting the turbine locations:
We planned the turbine locations carefully with a series of studies on background sound levels so the levels from the wind turbines were less than the township ordinance limits. The information from these studies was used to select a wind
turbine that was best suited to operate in Phase I of the Cross Winds project to maximize its generating capacity while complying with local noise level requirements.
Our team considered shadow flicker when locating the wind turbines in Phase I. Shadow flicker is an effect that may, under certain conditions, be caused by the shadows of rotating wind turbine blades. Detailed studies were completed to ensure compliance with local zoning requirements for shadow flicker from the wind turbines.
We conducted two years of post-construction wildlife studies following Phase I construction based on recommendations from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. This included two years of avian and bat studies, conducted by Dr. Joelle Gehring of Michigan Natural Features Inventory and Dr. Alan Kurta of Eastern Michigan University, respectively.
- The studies estimated bat fatality at Cross Winds Energy Park at 3.5 bats/turbine (1.9/MW), and bird fatality at 1.1 birds/turbine (0.6/MW).
- Numbers are lower than those experienced in 13 other Midwestern wind facilities.
- No Indiana bats (a federally endangered bat) or the federally threatened northern long-eared bat were found in fatality monitoring or the pre-construction monitoring.
- This data suggests Indiana bat species do not reside in or travel through the area around Cross Winds Energy Park.
of project boundaries and wind turbine locations.