- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Distant turbines go over better

How far your Lake Huron cottage might be from future offshore wind turbines may depend on which side of the lake you live.

Michigan is considering a buffer zone between turbines and the shoreline that’s twice as wide as that proposed by Ontario’s Environment Ministry.

The ministry has given the public until Tuesday to comment on a proposed buffer of 5 kilometres, despite vocal opposition by Lake Huron cottagers and residents who fear the electricity-generating turbines will threaten lakeside vistas and tourism.

Ontario’s Natural Resources Ministry says three companies have submitted 12 offshore applications within Lake Huron for sites as close as 50 m from the shore and as far as 30 km.

Michigan, too, is considering rules for offshore turbines, but its proposed buffer is 6 miles, or nearly 10 km.

The wider buffer is based on research on the visual effect of turbines, said John Sarver, who heads Michigan’s Wind Working Group for its energy department.

The farther turbines are from the shoreline, the less likely people are to object to them as an eyesore that ruins their view.