Residents, business owners, land owners support wind development in Gratiot County


More than 50 attend interactive Wind Works Michigan community conversation on the future of wind


ITHACA—Last Thursday, more than fifty local residents, business owners and landowners attended a community conversation on Gratiot County wind farms hosted by Wind Works Michigan. The purpose of the meeting was to start a dialogue about community values, priorities and concerns about wind farms.


“In Gratiot County, wind has provided tremendous benefits to our local communities—boosting our economy, supporting our local schools and improving local infrastructure,” said Don Schurr, President of Greater Gratiot Development, Inc. “We look forward to building on our relationship with wind developers as they look for our guidance in future planning for investment here in Gratiot County.”


The meeting was interactive, allowing attendees to learn and remotely weigh in via handheld clicker devices. Through clicker participating, attendees voiced overwhelming support for continued wind development.


“Wind energy preserves open space and affords long-term protection to farmland and agriculture here in Gratiot County and throughout the state,” said Chuck Lippstreu with the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “Wind energy boosts certainty for farmers and landowners, and brings more income and opportunity to small towns and rural communities.”


In Gratiot County alone, wind energy has brought more than $16 million to date in new tax revenue that supports local government, schools, and county wide services including Sherriff road patrols, parks and recreation and senior services.


“Over the past seven years, we’ve seen dramatic declines in the costs of wind energy and it’s now helping to rein in rising electricity costs for families and businesses in Gratiot County and across the state, said Rich VanderVeen, President of Mackinaw Power. “As the wind industry looks to expand, we appreciate the opportunity to share our community values and priorities so we can work together to save money for ratepayers.”


“Increasing wind energy production will reduce pollution and protect ratepayers from price volatility associated with fossil fuels—it’s a win-win,” said Skip Pruss with 5 Lakes Energy. “Working together with residents, business owners and landowners, the wind industry can continue to grow and deliver real benefits to Gratiot County.”


To view the presentation or learn more, visit