Happy with Heritage Sustainable Energy

EDITOR:

As executive director of the Delta County’s Economic Development Alliance (DCEDA), it is my responsibility to carry out the function of the organization; “To lead the promotion of economic development of Delta County through the retention, expansion and attraction of business and industry.” Through this work our ultimate vision is that Delta County will have a more vibrant and diversified economy offering opportunities for a desirable way of life.

Of the three strategies to achieve economic growth; retention, expansion and attraction; attracting new business to the area can sometimes be the most difficult. It’s the art of matching the resources of our region to the needs of a prospective businesses. More than that, it’s about identifying business partners that understand the importance of our Upper Peninsula community and are excited to make contributing to our community a priority. Since their arrival to Delta County, Heritage Sustainable Energy has answered that call.

The DCECA began working with Heritage far prior to their September 2012 achievement of bringing online the Upper Peninsula’s first wind energy generating facility in Garden, Mich. During the initial construction alone over 40 local and regional businesses in the Upper Peninsula were utilized for site work, equipment rental, supplies, fuel, maintenance, fencing, materials, food and lodging. Over 75 local jobs were generated for the construction of the wind farm. Over $10 million was injected to the local economy during construction! Now, between 5-6 permanent positions for operations and maintenance have been created in the Garden Peninsula. Delta County now leads the way in sustainable energy in the Upper Peninsula.

As Heritage has expanded their projects in Garden, they have continued to invest in the community by making generous cash donations to local schools and organizations. What may be most impressive though is the effect Heritage’s presence has had on local tax revenue. To date, Heritage Garden Wind Farm has paid $2.2 million in property taxes for the first phase of turbines, being 14 turbines. The second phase of proposed wind turbines for the Garden expansion project, being 20 turbines (5 turbines in 2019 and 15 in 2020), will generate over $4 million in property taxes during the first five years of operations. The Heritage Garden Wind Farm is strengthening our community by stimulating valuable services. Tax payments from the wind farm could result in enhanced infrastructure, stronger schools, along with boosted fire, rescue, police and other community services.

We’re glad to have welcomed Heritage Sustainable Energy and happy that they saw what we all know; that Delta County and the Upper Peninsula is an excellent place to live, do business and celebrate community.

TJ Thomas

Executive Director

Delta County Economic Development Alliance