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So is this good or bad for the Lakes?

TRAVERSE CITY, MI - The Obama administration and five states, including Michigan, have reached an agreement to speed up approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed by cost concerns and public opposition.

Under the deal, which administration officials disclosed to The Associated Press ahead of an announcement scheduled for Friday, state and federal agencies will craft a blueprint for speeding regulatory review of proposed wind farms without sacrificing environmental and safety standards. The Great Lakes have no offshore wind turbines, although a Cleveland partnership announced plans last year for a demonstration project that would place five to seven turbines in Lake Erie about 7 miles north of the city, generating 20-30 megawatts of electricity.

Offshore wind projects have been proposed elsewhere in the region, including Michigan and New York, stirring fierce debate.
Critics say they would ruin spectacular vistas, lower shoreline property values and harm birds and fish. New York Power Authority trustees last September abandoned a plan for private companies to place up to 200 turbines, each about 450 feet high, in Lakes Erie and Ontario. The Canadian province of Ontario in February 2011 ordered a moratorium on wind energy development in its Great Lakes waters to allow more study of environmental issues.

Supporters describe the lakes' winds as a vast, untapped source of clean energy and economic growth.

"This agreement among federal agencies and Great Lakes states is a smart, practical way to encourage the development of homegrown energy that will create jobs, power homes and reduce pollution in American communities," said Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Administration officials said the region's offshore winds could generate more than 700 gigawatts - one-fifth of all potential wind energy nationwide. Each gigawatt of offshore wind could power 300,000 homes while reducing demand for electricity from coal, which emits greenhouse gases and other pollutants, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.

Public resistance and logistical problems would pose formidable obstacles to approaching those levels. Yet harnessing only a small portion of the Great Lakes' offshore wind could generate thousands of jobs, officials said.
Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania signed the agreement. The other three states with Great Lakes coastlines - Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin - declined invitations but could join the partnership later, an administration official said.

The agreement is modeled after another between the federal government and Eastern states designed to support wind energy production in the Atlantic and encourage investment in new offshore wind technology.
"This agreement will enable states to work together to ensure that any proposed offshore wind projects are reviewed in a consistent manner, and that the various state and federal agencies involved collaborate and coordinate their reviews," Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said developing offshore wind energy would "promote economic development and create jobs, while reducing our dependence on foreign energy sources."

Among 10 federal agencies taking part are the Pentagon, the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Developers would need state and federal approval to establish offshore wind farms. State governments own the Great Lakes bottomlands within U.S. territory, while a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be required to erect the turbines and all 10 federal agencies would review the plans.
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2012/03/feds_5_states_to_push_for_grea.html
 

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We are way behnd here- drive out West and see how many of these you come across. Iowa, California and other states have them in many places.
 

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As an electrician who's been studying and working with renewable energy sources lately, I believe its great for the state. It would take up some water space but much like oil rigs in the gulf, it would probably attract fish around the mills if you're allowed to fish near them.
 

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It would take up some water space but much like oil rigs in the gulf, it would probably attract fish around the mills if you're allowed to fish near them.
Would we be allowed to fish near them? I guess I don't understand why they would put them on the water. It's got to be more expensive to build out their and when conditions aren't favorable they'll be unable to do maintenance on them. Makes me wonder if this is just a tax thing. Who benefits from these windmills out on the water? Do they pay property tax? Why not lease land from farmers as a way for them to generate extra revenue? I lived out west and saw all the windmills and it made sense because the land wasn't really being utilized other wise. The land was leased or purchased by the power companies. The thing I don't like about putting them on the water is that the water is all of ours. I don't like the idea of people being able to come in and stake a claim on Lake Erie. If I knew parts of Lake Erie were up for sale I'd of bought me a few hundred acres already.

Maybe there is a very good reason why they need to be on the water but I just see this as a way for the power companies to put up their windmills and avoid the high premiums of taking up real estate.

And I'm always weary of the gross over estimations of job creation. 1,000s of jobs? Does that factor in the loss of jobs to those working in coal power production? Is that just in building the windmills, if so don't those jobs disappear in a few years?

Maybe I'm wrong on all accounts on this but I'm glad Ohio held out on the deal. Let them test them out in Mich*gan and see if it's worth it.
 

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All of the wing turbines and every solar plant in this country are subsidized by tax dollars. That energy source is just not financially viable at this time. There will come a day when it may be, but it isn't here yet.

I have no problem with them building wind farms. On my way to Indiana a couple of weeks ago I saw the hundreds of them in Van Wert Ohio area.

I also have no problem with subsidizing, to some extent, the development of this energy source with my tax dollars, it is most likely the future at some point. I do have a problem however with "speeding up the process" for wind farm approval while doing all possible to slow development of existing energy opportunities. Someone is trying to pick a winner that would have no chance of winning a fair race on their own today.
 

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All of the wing turbines and every solar plant in this country are subsidized by tax dollars. That energy source is just not financially viable at this time. There will come a day when it may be, but it isn't here yet.

I have no problem with them building wind farms. On my way to Indiana a couple of weeks ago I saw the hundreds of them in Van Wert Ohio area.

I also have no problem with subsidizing, to some extent, the development of this energy source with my tax dollars, it is most likely the future at some point. I do have a problem however with "speeding up the process" for wind farm approval while doing all possible to slow development of existing energy opportunities. Someone is trying to pick a winner that would have no chance of winning a fair race on their own today.
those suckers are big...:biggrin:
 

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I'm all for the wind farms. Might be nice to use them to do a little deep water aeration too. I don't have a problem with subsidies either as Lundy pointed out, alt energy is the future.

I'm only half joking on the aeration. If the ecosystem could benefit from some oxygenation to reduce the "dead zone" why not?
 
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