The White House has taken up an interest in wind energy developments in the Great Lakes regions as of last month. The goal is to plant windmills in the Great Lakes in order to gain wind energy from the lake winds. This could be a pioneering break through for Michigan because electricity would become more economically accessible. Launched in the water last week in the middle of Lake Michigan was a yellow buoy that will be used to measure and collect data from wind at different heights. Although this project has finally taken off, it faced difficulties and still is under the threat of being shut down due to lack of financial resources. $1.3 million that was originally supposed to come from a state grant through the Michigan Public Service Commission was cancelled by a court ruling last year. Despite this devastating draw back on funding, the buoy was launched and built on $1.2 million from the Department of Energy along with $250,00o from a Wisconsin utility. As of currently this buoy is one of two in the North American region and could be at risk of being docked by 2013 because of lack of funding. Grand Valley State University has reached out to the University of Michigan, Michigan State and Michigan Technological universities for aide in collecting research over the Great Lakes. This research includes the studying and tracking of flight patterns for birds and bats so that the turbines aren’t build in areas that put these animals in danger.
Currently Michigan holds the manufacturing skills to produce wind turbines and can benefit significantly economically from wind energy. This pioneering in wind technology in Michigan can help create jobs, make access to energy more economical and benefit the environment. “Why export” and lose out of this powerful opportunity to change Michigan’s economy.
Federal government, 5 states put wind farms on fast track