Legislation that would pave the way for wind power in the Great Lakes is scheduled for its first hearing Tuesday in the state House Energy and Technology Committee.
The measure would allow large wind turbine projects offshore, but none could be closer than 3 miles from shore, and any within 6 miles of shore would require approval from the county’s commissioners. The state would oversee site selection, construction and decommissioning, as well as collect royalties.
Five areas with the best wind potential were identified – two in the Upper Peninsula, one in the far southwest corner of the state, one offshore of the Thumb and another on Lake Huron near Saginaw Bay. But offshore projects could go anywhere. Proponents hope the measures can be passed before the end of the year.
This year, residents opposed a large wind project that was proposed for 41/2 miles from Ludington. They said it would ruin views of Lake Michigan and hurt property values. That project was moved to 6 miles offshore of Muskegon.
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