(11/01/13) - Hundreds of construction jobs are expected to come to the Thumb.
The announcement was made after ground was broken Friday morning on a major energy project in Mid-Michigan.
The Consumers Energy's Cross Winds Energy Park will be the utility's first on the east side of the state. When it's done, 62 turbines will be built on the site.
The wind farm will go up in Akron and Columbia Townships near the town of Akron.
Some said that Friday's windy weather might be a good omen for the project. The goal is to provide more renewable energy for Consumers Energy customers.
The company is still working to meet state energy law requirements that call for 10 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2015.
It's the second wind park that Consumers Energy is developing. The other is in Mason County.
Many say this will have an economic impact. Consumers Energy says this project will bring about 150 construction jobs.
"This is a $250 million investment in clean energy for the state of Michigan. It's going to bring a lot of economic activity into Tuscola County. The wind turbines will provide income to the land owners that are hosting the wind farms. They'll be tax revenues for the county," said Jack Hanson, of Consumers Energy.
"We need work for our people and the last few years the last few guys had to go out of town to continue to work and they were as fortunate to have a job here that had any longevity to it, so to have projects like this coming up, it's just exciting," said Chuck Binkowski, Barton Malow, VP
Not everyone likes the idea. The idea of another wind farm in the county makes some people angry.
"We ain't going to benefit from this one bit. This is all for people in the big cities," said Larry Vandemark, Tuscola County resident. "When you put that many up, they're ruining so much farmland and what is it going to do for us? It really ain't going to do a blazing thing for us."
The Vamdemarks have lived in their home for nearly 30 years. They say the loud noise has at least one obvious drawback.
"The animals can hear them, I like the animals being around and birds, we haven't seen a bird in Lord knows how long," said Gloria Vandemark.
Other wind farm neighbors say they'll get used to it..
"It doesn't bother me one way or the other, they're here to come, they're here to stay, you put up with it. You're out in the country, so it's like living next to a pig farm, if you move in, you got to put up with it," said Tuscola County resident Dennis Roberts.
The wind farm will begin operation about this time next year.
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