Michigan Creates Great Lakes Wind Council

Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm signed on Feb. 6 Executive Order 2009-1, creating the Great Lakes Wind Council, an advisory body within the state Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth that will provide citizens with a public forum to begin to identify where, in the Great Lakes, wind energy systems may be prudently sited.

"The Great Lakes are Michigan's most precious natural resource, and they provide tremendous economic value to the citizens of Michigan," Granholm said. "The availability, consistency, and velocity of wind in the Great Lakes make their waters uniquely attractive to wind energy developers seeking to build offshore wind energy systems -- but we want to make sure we are prudent in this process of approval."

In addition to looking at ways to best engage the people of Michigan in a public dialogue about offshore wind so that statewide interests are considered, the council will identify criteria that can be used to review applications for offshore wind development. The council also will identify criteria for mapping areas that should be excluded from offshore wind development and those areas that are most favorable for such development, providing a full report to the governor by Sept. 1.