Scotia Wind is a renewable energy project responsibly sited on privately-owned commercial timberland.
The project consists of 12 wind turbines that will generate low-cost electricity for the residents and businesses of the Upper Peninsula.
Views of the Turbines
Click below to see what Scotia Wind will
look like once it's installed.
U.P. ENERGY from U.P. RESOURCES for U.P. RESIDENTS
The Scotia Wind project will generate more than $15.9 million of new local property tax revenue over the lifetime of the project to fund schools and services for the township and county, like roads, veterans services, medical care and more. Because future changes in state regulations can impact the amount of property taxes ultimately collected from wind projects, Scotia Wind is ready to enter into legally binding contracts with local entities to guarantee this local property tax revenue and protect Adams Township, Adams Schools, and Houghton County against future changes in State tax rules.
In addition to local property tax revenue, Scotia Wind estimates that it will directly spend $4 million with local vendors and local labor. This does not include the additional money that will be spent on local services like restaurants and hotels during and after construction.
Scotia Wind will sell electricity to UPPCO for less than 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh); the lowest-cost renewable energy contracts ever filed with the Michigan Public Service Commission. The Scotia Wind rate of 3.5 cents per kWh is also far below the amount UPPCO would have to pay to generate the power itself or purchase from another source (per the most recent Integrated Resource Plan and “Avoided Cost” estimates - both approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission).
While future electricity rates are determined by many factors, electric bills from UPPCO are expected to be lower with Scotia Wind than they would be without Scotia Wind.
MPSC Approved Renewable Energy Contracts 2017-2021 ($ per kWh)
utility-scale projects greater than 20MW
Data Source: Michigan Public Service Commision
Savings to UPPCO ratepayers can be estimated by comparing the Scotia Wind contract price to the “Avoided Cost” which is the amount UPPCO would have to pay to generate the power itself or purchase from another source. The Avoided Cost estimate is a publicly available number determined through
a contested proceeding at the Michigan Public Service Commission.
Savings on power supply costs are a ‘pass through’ to ratepayers. As indicated in the graph to the right, the wind electricity generated by Scotia Wind is projected to be far less expensive than the Avoided Cost over the term of the contract.
Electricity Cost ($ per kWh)
Data Source: Michigan Public Service Commission
Like any machine, wind turbines will not last forever. A decommissioning bond or equivalent financial security will be put in place to ensure responsible removal of the wind farm at the end of the project’s service life.
This decommissioning security will also be available to cover decommissioning and restoration costs in the unlikely event that, prior to the end of the project's service life, a turbine is inoperable for nine months and is not actively being repaired.
Wind energy is widely considered better for the land and wildlife than traditional energy sources. It emits no air or water pollution, requires no mining or drilling for fuel, uses virtually no water, and creates no hazardous or radioactive waste. There is no other power source with less impact on the land and wildlife.
Furthermore, accredited biologists have performed over 1,000 hours of wildlife surveys on the Scotia Wind site, which have indicated minimal impacts. The only species of concern identified were bald eagles (not threatened or endangered, but protected by law) as well as bat species already in decline due to White Nose Syndrome. Scotia Wind will obtain the approval of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Eagle and Bat Conservation Plans.
Scotia Wind is sited on privately-owned commercial timberland that is regularly disturbed by logging, snowmobiling and ATV traffic, as well as maintenance of the high-voltage transmission line that runs through
the project site.
With only 12 turbines, this is a small project relative to a typical wind farm.
All project turbines maintain a minimum 3,000-foot property line setback from non-participating landowners, and the closest distance to any home is nearly one mile. A majority of residential areas are bordered by 50-foot trees, eliminating visibility for most. Also, a ridgeline exists between the project and nearby population centers, which provides additional natural cover for the project. At the nearest non-participating landowner property line, the sound from the turbines will not exceed 40 decibels, which the American Academy of Audiology compares to a quiet library. The sound will be much quieter or non-existent for the homes, businesses, villages and towns beyond that line.
Circle Power Renewables designed this project to be minimally invasive while providing a sustainable and renewable power source to residents of Adams Township, Houghton County, and the Upper Peninsula.
LOCAL ZONING PURSUIT
Project opponents have placed substantial pressure on Adams Township to pursue township zoning in an effort to impede Scotia Wind.
Zoning is a consequential decision for any township. In order to make the best decision for Adams Township, residents deserve the facts about Scotia Wind rather than false, misleading or unsubstantiated information being circulated about the project.
Currently, a substantial portion of local electricity supply is imported from outside of UPPCO’s service territory. Having locally generated energy is a benefit, because locally supplied electricity can be available during transmission emergencies, providing some protection against outages caused by equipment failures or weather events.
ADDITIONAL PROJECTS HIGHLY UNLIKELY
Circle Power Renewables will NOT build additional wind projects on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
We do not believe additional utility-scale wind is viable on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Electricity must be used locally (at the time it’s generated) or transferred (via the grid) to others further away that can immediately consume it. The surrounding transmission system cannot support more power generation after the Scotia Wind installation, and the forecasted growth in local electric demand is insufficient to support an additional large wind project. Grid expansion is an incredibly difficult process that, in the best of cases, takes many years and is very expensive to successfully complete. Without a significant influx of industry or population growth, it’s difficult to envision a rationale for such effort and cost.