Michigan eyed for $4 billion in wind farms

March 17, 2010 at 10:22 AM
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MUSKEGON, Mich., March 17 (UPI) -- Minnesota's Scandia Wind Offshore company proposed a $4 billion project to develop offshore and onshore wind farms on the West Michigan coast.

Scandia proposed building two offshore facilities in Lake Michigan with a combined output of 1,000 megawatts. An onshore wind facility associated with a wastewater treatment facility would deliver 150 MW of energy to the surrounding community, the company said.

Steve Warner, the chief executive at Scandia, said Michigan's efforts to transform its economy away from the automotive sector and the significant wind power generated in the Great Lakes made the region a likely site for wind technology.

Michigan ranks 14th in terms of wind energy potential. Using a proposed wind turbine height of more than 300 feet, West Michigan is said to be one of the best sites in the state.

"The wind regime is outstanding," added Warner.

Scandia said it would need state and federal approval from environmental and maritime agencies. The company added that it intends to perform around 20 industrial, transport and biological assessments on the proposed sites.

Nevertheless, Warner said he was "very encouraged" about the prospects to make West Michigan a leader in wind energy technology.

The project would eliminate more than 2 million tons of harmful emission from the atmosphere and be carbon neutral after seven months of operation. Environmental studies would commence in 2012 with construction set for 2014 following approval.

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