Greasing the gears of offshore wind
Vincent’s post from the The European Wind Energy Conference got me thinking about U.S. offshore wind potential.
Wind on the water has been all the buzz in Michigan. The state’s portion of the Great Lakes has the potential to produce an astounding 322,000 megawatts of electricity from wind, according to a study earlier this year from the Land Policy Institute at Michigan State University.
But so far, nothing has gone in. Michigan regulators have huddled about smoothing the waters for offshore wind. But the hurdles will probably be more than regulatory (think about the aquatic environment, fisheries and recreation). A proposal to put turbines in the Canadian waters of Lake Erie is being met with resistance by a citizens group, the Windsor Star reports.
Which leads me to what the U.S. federal government is doing: Cutting red tape in hopes of spurring the development of blue water blades. The Interior Department and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have struck a deal to jointly oversee wind energy (and solar, wave and tidal) projects, Reuters reports.
President Barrack Obama has set a goal of doubling renewable energy production in the next three years, so cooperation is key. Final approval for a 130-turbine Cape Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts could come in the next several months.
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