From February 2012 – ThumbWind.com has completed a survey of current, planned and halted wind projects in the state of Michigan. Information was compiled from published reports and Michigan Public Services Commission, (MPSC). The state of Michigan now has a total of 208 turbines with a capacity of 340 megawatts. Huron County in Michigan’s thumb remains the top provider of wind power with 122 megawatts active in 2011.
Michigan’s Huge Growth in Wind Power
Projects registered with the MPSC shows that an additional 466 wind turbines are planned in 2012 – 2017. Once completed the total capacity will be approximately 1100 megawatts generated by 674 turbines. The entire thumb region, comprised of Huron, Tuscola and Sanilac counties will be the primary location with of 10 of the 18 industrial wind farms active in Michigan.
Despite Growth Local Hurdles’ Remain
At least three major projects were halted due to local zoning and negative citizen reaction. The Gail Wind Power project being developed by Duke Energy in Benzie County and Manistee County was halted. The project called for over 100 turbines being placed near Arcadia near Lake Michigan. In a press release by Duke Power the company said it will turn its attention to projects in Kansas, Texas and Pennsylvania.
From February 2012 – Online newspaper mlive.com is reporting that preparations and study is actively underway to create a 100 megawatt wind farm at Muskegon County’s wastewater treatment site. The $300 million project is being developed by Gamesa, a wind-turbine manufacturer and wind-farm developer. This would be the fifth wind development project that Gamesa has been involved with in the United States.
Preparations include measuring wind speed and duration at the 11,000 acre site. In addition the County is plotting current underground pipes and other utility’s to make way for transmission lines to the estimated 52 turbine project.
Headquartered in Spain, Gamesa has been working for 15 years’ in the design, manufacture, installation and maintenance of wind turbines, with more than 23,000 megawatts installed in 30 countries. Gamesa has 31 production facilities in Europe, the US, China, India and Brazil and 8,000 employees worldwide.
From February 2012 – Bruce Goodman from Varnum Law reported that a petition is being circulated to place an alternative energy question before Michigan voters this November. The coalition, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters seeked to add a constitutional amendment to ensure that 25% of the state’s energy is generated by renewable sources.
On January 20th, the Michigan Board of Canvassers gave approval to circulate petitions to put the question of Michigan generating 25% of energy from renewable sources by 2025 and place it on the November ballot.
The petition drive must collect more than 300,000 valid signatures to get the question on the ballot.
From January 2012 – While lagging behind the rest of the country, Michigan is showing strong growth in commercial wind farm projects. A survey of Michigan wind energy projects showed that in 2011 there are 205 turbines producing 340 Megawatts. Estimates of additional wind projects underway look to add another 205 turbines producing 340 Megawatts over the next two years.