General and Michigan
It didn't have the acrimony of earlier public sessions in neighboring Oceana and Mason counties, but Scandia Wind Offshore's two-hour presentation to the Muskegon County Commission was greeted with caution.
Muskegon County commissioners took no action Wednesday, but asked questions after Scandia's Harald Dirdal gave a presentation on the proposed development. Board Chairman Ken Mahoney said public hearings likely will be held on the issue. ...Commissioner Jim Derezinski, referencing the Ludington Pumped Storage Facility's importance as a "battery" for the wind farm, asked if Mason and Oceana counties told the developers not to proceed in their area, would it kill the project?
Lake St. Clair is the latest target for 160 wind turbines, according to State Rep. Timothy Bledsoe, D-Grosse Pointe Farms. Bledsoe has scheduled a community forum on May 3 to discuss the impact the wind turbines will have on the lake. ..."Overwhelmingly, there is anxiety of the location of these in Lake St. Clair," Bledsoe said. "Lake St. Clair is too small and too shallow to get reliable wind during the summer months. I'm highly skeptical of the wind potential."
The historic DeZwaan windmill at Windmill Island Gardens will not be getting a high-tech neighbor.
The Holland Board of Public Works on Monday decided not to construct a wind turbine at the downtown attraction, after an analysis of data collected over a year's time found wind speeds were simply too low to make the project cost effective.
Most talk on windmills in Michigan is about the giant ones going up on farms and offshore.
But small wind turbines designed for urban homes, small businesses and schools -- which cost $15,000 to $30,000 -- are generating debate in some Detroit suburbs. ...This week, the board voted 7-0 to ban wind turbines in residential areas.
While offshore wind turbines proposed for Lake Michigan have been met with some opposition, the possibility of wind in the water may enjoy support in the Saginaw Bay area.
Minnesota-based Scandia Wind Offshore has proposed a $4 billion plan to build wind farms in Lake Michigan and lure a turbine manufacturer to the west side of the state. Offshore plans first proposed for Pentwater were opposed by residents there. Scandia has recently shifted its efforts to the Muskegon area.
BP Alternative Energy is withdrawing its application for a proposed commercial wind farm in the Huron-Manistee National Forest along the Lake Michigan shoreline north of Ludington. ...BP Alternative Energy decided not to proceed with the proposed project as a result of the company's review of recent wind resource data and developments in the market for wind-generated energy.
The Monterey Township board voted Monday, April 5, to wait until its May 3 regular meeting to vote on extending a moratorium on approvals for companies seeking special use permits for industrial wind turbines.
The moratorium was approved six weeks ago in response to an outpouring of opposition to wind energy companies considering setting up approximately 60 450-foot wind turbines.
Up close and personal. That's what West Michigan community leaders hoped to gain from a trip to McBain to see wind turbines in action.
About 40 community leaders from Muskegon, North Ottawa County and Grand Rapid took a jaunt Monday to the Stoney Corners Wind Farm near the rural community of McBain, southeast of Cadillac, to evaluate the impact such turbines might have if placed in their local communities.
Ken Arbogast of the Huron-Manistee National Forest said the company sent a letter, dated April 1, stating that it would not pursue the project which would have put as many as 25 wind turbines in the Manistee National Forest in Grant Township.
Proponents of wind turbines tout their ability to cleanly generate power, transmit it to the grid and do so without the pollution of coal plants and potential dangers of nuclear sites.
But opponents of the giant propellers worry about the noise they create along with threats to birds, disruption to lakebeds in construction, and the possible difficulties in actually getting the power to transmission lines.
Many people have questions about proposals to build wind farms in Lake Michigan off the shore of Mason and Oceana counties, including Oceana County Planning Commission member David Roseman. Roseman drafted a list of 28 questions for the proposal's developers, which the commission asked them to answer in writing. The planning commission is now waiting for the answers before making a recommendation.
The first public meeting concerning proposed offshore wind energy guidelines in Michigan produced a "surprisingly favorable" response from the audience.
The meeting attracted a crowd of about 150 people Thursday at Saginaw Valley State University. It was the first of three scheduled meetings by the Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council concerning the council's recommendations for offshore wind energy regulations.
More than 80 people turned out Thursday at to learn about the wind technology and to have their say about the potential farms.
Though there was not a question and answer period, those attending the event at Saginaw Valley State University were all given hand-held 'clickers' that, using computer software, registered their anonymous answers to questions about whether they would support the wind farms in the Great Lakes.
As a longtime resident of Grand Haven's North Shore, Jan Beukema has fought the growing number of rental units, seasonal homes and condominiums in her Lake Michigan view neighborhood.
But the neighborhood located north of Grand Haven Channel may have a new battle on its hands after a proposal was unveiled this week calling for a for a 500-megawatt wind turbine farm to be located six miles off Grand Haven in Lake Michigan.
Government officials and economic development proponents learned Monday about plans to construct a 500-megawatt wind farm on Lake Michigan bottomlands off the shores of Muskegon and Ottawa counties.
The plans came from Scandia Wind and Havgul Clean energy.
Muskegon County commissioners contacted by The Chronicle about a proposed offshore wind farm here showed a range of feelings.
Commissioners Ken Mahoney, John Snider and Lew Collins all said they are at least interested in exploring Scandia Wind's plan for installing turbines on Lake Michigan.
The company planning a wind farm in Lake Michigan off Pentwater appears to be developing a much broader plan as Scandia Offshore Wind has a series of three meetings scheduled Monday in Muskegon.
It is likely the Norwegian wind developers will suggest additional offshore wind farm locations for Lake Michigan waters in the Muskegon area. Yet, Scandia's interests in West Michigan also appear to be greater than wind farms on Lake Michigan.
The Mason County Board of Commissioners Tuesday discussed setting up a meeting, possibly in May, to take comments on and learn more about the offshore wind farm proposal it is to vote on by September. Scandia Wind/Havgul Clean Energy have proposed constructing 50 to 100 wind turbines in Lake Michigan, from off the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant south to Pentwater, 4 miles offshore.
The Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council spent a year studying the issue of offshore wind farm locations before providing its recommendations to the state's legislature.
Now that work is done, the council has scheduled three public meetings to learn what the public thinks (see schedule).