Phase II of the Cross Winds® Energy Park calls for construction of a 44 MW wind project featuring 19 GE 2.3-116 wind turbines. Phase II construction began in the spring of 2017 with the project expected to become operational in early 2018. The project will generate additional economic benefits for the township and the region including construction jobs, additional tax revenues and multiple economic impacts from payments to landowners. Phase III offers the potential of an additional 76 MW by adding 33 of the same GE wind turbines.
The wind turbines in Phases II and III of the Cross Winds Energy Park will be located in Columbia Township with supporting work performed at the Operations and Maintenance facility in Akron Township. Special land use permit applications filed with Akron and Columbia Townships were approved in the fall of 2016.
Details about the special land use permit application can be found below:
Multiple factors were considered regarding the expansion of the Cross Winds Energy Park, including an increase in customers invested in additional alternative renewable energy options, changes in energy legislation and the availability of a production tax credit.
The Cross Winds Energy Park currently provides a source of clean, renewable energy stemming from the wind blowing across our state. Michigan now requires that 15% of the state’s energy come from renewable energy sources by 2021 (Public Act 342 of 2016). This is up from the previous requirement of 10% (Public Act 295 of 2008). Construction of Phase II and then the anticipated Phase III of the Cross Winds Energy Park will allow Consumers Energy to increase production from renewable energy sources in order to help meet the increased future renewable energy requirements.
Tax credit changes have also contributed to the decision to expand the Cross Winds Energy Park. The end of 2016 will see the Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC) begin to disappear, with a 20% reduction every year following.
Tax credits offset the expense of wind farm projects. By filing groundwork for construction within 2016, Phases II and III remain eligible for PTCs.
If you're looking for a way to make green energy choices, our Green Generation program is a great place to start.