Great Lakes Turbines Get Second Wind

Just months after a proposal to build the first wind farm to be located offshore on any of the Great Lakes was shelved, five neighboring states have struck a deal with the Obama administration to develop offshore wind farms more quickly.
April 4, 2012, 1pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Tom Precious reports on the deal, reached last week between New York, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and the Obama Administration to streamline the approval process for developers looking to build wind turbine projects on the waters of the Great Lakes.

The agreement is the latest in a series of steps the federal government is taking to facilitate wind farm construction, which has gotten off to a slow and contentious start in the waters off the Atlantic and Great Lake coastlines. Similar in scope to a recent wind promotion effort by the federal government and states along the Atlantic coast, "The memorandum of understanding states the federal government believes the Great Lakes could supply 700 gigawatts of energy -- representing a substantial portion of the nation's total offshore wind resource."

The potential for wind generation to replace non-renewable energy sources in states bordering the Lakes is substantial.

"A coalition of seven New York environmental and clean-energy producers -- including the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, Environmental Advocates of New York and the Natural Resources Defense Council -- said the electricity that could be created by offshore wind farms on New York's Great Lakes and Atlantic coastlines could power all homes in the state," notes Precious.

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Published on Friday, March 30, 2012 in The Buffalo News
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