Potential wind farm discussed in Baraga County

There may be a new wind farm coming to the area. L’Anse Township and Baraga Township have been presented the project by the U.S. branch of the Renewable Energy Systems (RES) group.

According to RES Senior Development Manager, Mason V. Sorenson, they are in the early stages of this project.

The group has been in discussion with the townships. Most of the work is with L’Anse so far, but the group discussed with Baraga Township because there may be a transmission line that has to go through Baraga.

RES would like to hear concerns and questions from both townships. RES is also looking to see what kind of ordinances and permits are needed.

Sorenson says its L’Anse’s first time having a project like this, so they’re learning.

According to Baraga Township’s Supervisor, Amy Isaacson, the board doesn’t know much about the project and what is required so they are doing their own research.

“We are doing our homework on what they would need for the project,” said Isaacson.

Sorenson said through a partnership with Weyerhaeuser, one of the world’s largest private owners of timberlands, their discussions led to this wind farm project in L’Anse.

“All of the land the project will be on is from Weyerhaeuser,” said Sorenson.

RES is currently doing research on the land and area to decide the best plans for it. Sorenson says they need to measure the area, look into the wildlife and conduct bird studies.

“We’re making sure that we can design the project around the wildlife in the area,” said Sorenson.

The research may take a while.

“Wind farms take years to develop,” said Sorenson. “After another year or two of research, then we will decide if it makes sense to move forward or not.”

He says, If they move forward with the project, it will begin in 2020.