Q: Is there a state panel to determine the best placement for wind turbines?
A: The Michigan Great Lakes Wind Council (GLOW) was originally established to create a list of criteria to identify the most favorable areas for offshore wind farms. The list included such things as habitat infringement, proximity to national parks or preserves, commercial fishing areas, and shipping lanes. Such areas were given a buffer zone within which turbine construction would be prohibited. After the list was finished, GLOW began mapping areas that were viable for wind energy construction, looking at average wind speeds to decide which locations would be most productive. Conferences were held near the selected areas throughout 2010 to inform Michigan residents of GLOW’s findings and collect opinions about possible development. The opinion of those who attended the meetings and responded to the poles seemed favorable, with close to two-thirds in favor of the development and a quarter being opposed. GLOW’s current purpose is to submit its findings to state policymakers concerning favorable leasing areas as well as suggestions for leasing methods to developers. GLOW’s mission was not to argue for or against wind energy development but to collect the information Michigan needs in order to consider its future.
Q: Where can people in Michigan buy a backyard or rooftop wind turbine?
A: If you are looking to buy a wind turbine in Michigan, you have a few options open to you. Event Horizon Solar & Wind, SPM Wind Power, and Lake Effect Energy Corp. are examples of local retailers. In addition to that, stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot can sometimes sell turbines via order. Some manufacturers like Bergey Windpower will list distributors for their product, providing you with a good place to begin your search.