Wind power – Michigan’s Next Big Thing?

30 Sep 2010

We’ve posted previously about the good and the bad when it comes to wind power but there’s no denying that wind power is in the press these days.  Oceana, an environmental group trying to fight off future off shore oil drilling has released a study concluding, among other things, that in the South Atlantic, offshore wind could heat more homes than offshore oil and natural gas resources combined for less than 1/2 the price.  The report also concludes that in the Mid-Atlantic, offshore wind could provide electricity equivalent to that generated by all fossil fuels used in that region.

Further, sources from the Left and the Right have come out supporting wind as the long term solution to a variety of woes – economic, security and environmental.

Grand Valley State and U-M recently announced a $ 5 Million joint study to evaluate how best to design and site offshore wind turbines in the Great Lakes.

Oakland County is focused on enticing wind power businesses and Michigan has certainly embraced wind as part of its overall economic strategy.  Earlier this year, the Michigan Public Service Commission designated two Michigan regions as wind energy resource zones pursuant to a law passed in 2008.  The State’s primary, but not its only, focus is in the Thumb area.  The big issue is upgrading the transmission system to move electricity from the points of generation to the  grid. The current method and systems do not adequately address the unique circumstances of transmission needed for renewable energy, let alone the cost of such grid upgrades.

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