Wisconsin Opts Out of Wind Energy ConsortiumApril 13, 2012
An agreement signed by 10 federal agencies and the governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania, is designed to speed review of proposed offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes by increasing collaboration between federal and state agencies.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by officials from the Obama administration and five states, is designed to speed the development of wind energy systems on the Great Lakes by allowing projects to go through one process rather than different processes at different agencies on both the state and federal level.
No wind turbines currently exist on the lakes, nor have any permits been applied for, but the government estimates the Great Lakes have the potential to produce more than 700 gigawatts of energy from offshore wind. That is about one-fifth of the total offshore wind potential in the United States.
The MOU was modeled after a similar agreement signed by 10 East Coast states and the Department of Interior in 2010, which created the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium. However, the Great Lakes agreement contains different provisions since the states hold the title to the lake beds in the public trust.
Wisconsin, as well as Indiana and Ohio, declined to join the Consortium.
The below map created by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showing wind speeds in the Great Lakes:
This post was authored by GLLF staff attorney Emily Kelchen.