Whitmer wants a clean energy haven. Rural communities are pushing back

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Wind turbines spin on farmland Tuesday, May 30, 2023 in Huron Township.

Towards the tip of Michigans Thumb, dozens of wind turbines dot the rural landscape, their blades catching the attention of passers-by as they slowly rotate.

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The region has one of the highest power generation potential on a per megawatt-hour basis in the state, and in recent years, the sight has become more common above the M-46 as a host of energy companies creep in with large commercial developments.

But the turbines could head further south in a matter of months to two municipalities in Sanilac County, where a well-known Canadian utility developer has proposed erecting 50 of them over a wide swath of land.

Dubbed “Riverbend Wind Energy,” Liberty Power’s project will wrap portions of the nearby towns of Fremont and Speaker, following the company’s completion of another phase of turbine development earlier this year about 60 miles north in Huron County.

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