U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Gratiot County Wind Project Case Study
October 8, 2012
The Gratiot County Wind Project, Michigan's newest wind energy facility, began construction in 2011 and was completed in June 2012. The 212.8-megawatt (MW) wind farm is Michigan's largest and increased the state's total wind energy capacity from 377 MW to nearly 600 MW.
- The project utilizes 133 GE 1.6-MW turbines.
- The wind farm is located on approximately 30,000 acres of private land near the town of Breckenridge in the townships of Wheeler, Bethany, Emerson, and Lafayette.
- Gratiot Wind LLC, an affiliate of Invenergy, owns 69 of the turbines. DTE Energy owns 64 turbines.
Jobs and Economic Development Impacts
- The $440 million project employed 260 skilled construction workers and now employs 14 full-time workers to operate and maintain the wind turbines.
- Tax payments will total approximately $35 million over 20 years.
- More than 260 landowners will receive almost $2 million annually from land-lease and other payments.
- Bethany Township will receive between $60,000 to $70,000 in taxes for the first year of the project's operation and will receive at least $55,000 a year in the future, which represents one-quarter of the rural township's budget.
This project represents a unique approach to engaging with all of the area stakeholders to develop a community-inclusive project in which everybody in the community shares in the results, not just the landowners with turbines on their property. This inclusive project development approach is discussed in the podcast interview Keys to Local Wind Energy Development Success with Rich VanderVeen, president of Mackinaw Power.