Lot of decisions to be made in coming week for offshore wind

Meanwhile, developers planning an offshore wind farm near Mason and Oceana counties expect to soon release modified plans to government officials in the area — asking for their support or the plans will not proceed.

Those developers, from Scandia Wind and Havgul Clean Energy, have said they seek support from the county boards of commissioners.

The companies have proposed building a wind farm on Lake Michigan’s bottomlands off the shores of southern Mason County and northern Oceana County. The original plans called for construction of 100 to 200 wind turbines covering 100 square miles and ranging from 1.4 to 3.7 miles from shore. The developers said Feb. 12 they will cut the size by half and move all the turbines to 4 miles from shore.

Steve Warner, Scandia’s CEO, said Thursday that he expects to get the revised proposal into the hands of county government officials by Monday.

While the developers worked on their plans, the state GLOW council spent the past year studying the issue of regulations to govern the siting of offshore wind farms. The council released a report on the issue in September 2009 and is near to finalizing language for recommended legislation. Liesl Clark, of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth, expects that final language during the next week.

While waiting for the GLOW language to arrive, a number of county, city and township officials from Mason and Oceana counties met in Hart last Friday to question federal and state officials about the process for siting offshore wind farms.

[mappress]

Source: ludingtondailynews, February 26, 2010;

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