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community weblog - [ Wind ]

Testing the winds

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Among the many forms of renewable energy being studied and developed, wind is seen by many to be the least expensive and easiest to harness. In theory, at least.But when you start proposing construction of giant wind turbines, whether in scenic rural settings or offshore along the ocean coasts or Great Lakes shoreline, you encounter strong objections. Concerns are raised over noise, the impact on property values, beautiful vistas being spoiled, harm to wildlife and other issues.  more...


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Buoy that could determine viability of offshore wind farm to head back out to Lake Michigan

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Wednesday state regulators and researchers will head about 35 miles west of Muskegon, near the Michigan-Wisconsin border in Lake Michigan. There they’ll survey the bottom of Lake Michigan to make sure there are no historic artifacts in the way when a floating research platform drops anchor there (likely) later this week.

Arn Boezaart heads the Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center. Last year the center operated the buoy only 4 miles offshore. This year it’ll collect first of its kind data that’ll likely determine whether an offshore wind farm is viable in the middle of Lake Michigan. more...



Environment  Wind  

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Muskegon area, West Michigan have big stake in move to streamline offshore wind power regulations

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The process of putting offshore wind turbines in Lake Michigan, a concept the produced a passionate debate in West Michigan a few years ago, may be getting streamlined in regard to government regulations.

A Memorandum of Understanding, announced Friday, is designed to speed the review of proposed offshore wind projects on the Great Lakes by enhancing collaboration between federal and state regulatory agencies. The document was signed by the Obama administration and Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.  more...



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Great Lakes Offshore Wind Farms Agreement Reached Between 5 States And Federal Government

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The Obama administration and five states have reached an agreement to speed up approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed by cost concerns and public opposition.

Under the deal, which administration officials disclosed to The Associated Press ahead of an announcement scheduled for Friday, state and federal agencies will craft a blueprint for speeding regulatory review of proposed wind farms without sacrificing environmental and safety standards. The Great Lakes have no offshore wind turbines, although a Cleveland partnership announced plans last year for a demonstration project that would place five to seven turbines in Lake Erie about 7 miles north of the city, generating 20-30 megawatts of electricity.  more...



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Justices OK wind farm

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A mighty wind is blowing through Champaign County, and not everyone is happy about it.

A 4-3 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday removed a hurdle blocking construction of a $150 million wind farm on 9,000 acres in Champaign County. The ruling validated an Ohio Power Siting Board decision approving the application of Buckeye Wind LLC to erect 70 wind-driven rotary turbines estimated to generate a combined 126 megawatts of electricity.  more...



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Sailing On Ice? Yeah, That's A Sport.

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 Come Sail Away: Retired high school science teacher — and adrenaline junkie — Andy Sajor rides his ice boat on a frozen Lake Champlain in New York. Perfect ice sailing conditions call for cold temperatures, a strong breeze and a thick sheet of ice — but not too much snow.


The minute I learned that ice sailing was an actual sport, I wanted to give it a try. I watched YouTube videos of wooden boats with big white sails zooming across the ice on steel runners. It seemed like such a rush: Imagine racing over a frozen lake on a wind-powered sled, hitting speeds that top 40 miles an hour.

So I was delighted when Andy Sajor, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., offered to let me hitch a ride over an icy Lake Champlain. The 13th largest lake in the country, Champlain sits between upstate New York and Vermont and has emerged as one of the best ice sailing venues in the U.S.

We meet at Chazy Landing on the New York side of Lake Champlain, 12 miles from the Canadian border. It's bright and windy. The ice stretches for miles, dotted by camps of shanties set up by ice fisherman. I'm bundled up in four layers of winter clothing. Sajor hands me a crash helmet and ski goggles.  more...



Sailing  SNOW  Watersports  Wind  

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Wind project on Lake Ontario shore threatens endangered birds: Nature Canada

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PICTON, Ont. - A proposed wind energy project in Ontario's rural Prince Edward County has ruffled feathers with Nature Canada, which says the turbines would threaten several endangered bird species.

The location of the project at Ostrander Point, on land owned by the province, is "one of the most significant sites for migrating birds in eastern Ontario," the national conservation group says. Every year tens of thousands of birds stop there to refuel, drawn by the unique geography of the area on Lake Ontario's shoreline.

"While Nature Canada recognizes wind energy is an important green energy solution, wind farms in the wrong place can be bad for wildlife."

The group has suggested citizens tell the province's Environment Ministry to refuse the application by Toronto-based Gilead Power Corp. for the project.  more...



Animals  Other  Wind  

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Builder hopes to blow winds of change, lift ban on wind turbines

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The province is in no rush to approve a massive wind energy project that holds the promise of hundreds of jobs for Hamilton companies.

The Ministry of Energy says a provincial moratorium on wind projects enacted almost a year ago will remain in place until the province is satisfied such projects are safe. It is currently studying an offshore wind turbine development in Sweden and another planned pilot project in Ohio and will not approve any projects in Ontario until results are known, a spokesperson said Wednesday.  more...



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2011 DN Great Western

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The Great Western Challenge is the official start to the Iceboating season for those of us in the USA.  It has grown in popularity and this year over 75 Iceboats gathered in a remote Minnesota town called Ashby, which has Lake Christina.  The lake is round, about 2 miles by 2 miles and the ice was nearly flawless! 

For those of us from Toledo, we started chatting this event up after we made the trek to Lake Sturgeon in 2010.  The message we brought back was the fun involved in having an informal gathering and the ability to get some early season practice in before the lakes & bays freeze around our home waters.  Last year 3 of us went from Toledo.  This year 7 (one by way of Kansas City). more...



SNOW  Watersports  Wind  

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Hamilton councillors blow hot for off-shore wind farms

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Hamilton councillors hope they are not blowing hot air.

They have thrown their support behind a consortium of Lake Ontario-based businesses that have about $850 million invested in developing wind power on Lake Ontario.

Lake Ontario Offshore Network (LOON) was formed by employers in Hamilton, Niagara and Kingston to pressure the provincial government to lift its moratorium on developing wind power on Lake Ontario.

The province argued it needed more scientific research on off-shore wind farms before allowing the developments.   more...


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The future for wind power in Canada

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While a large turbine can generate energy for 5,000 homes, smaller windmills provide energy for a single household or farm, like this one in Isle of Luing, Scotland. - While a large turbine can generate energy for 5,000 homes, smaller windmills provide energy for a single household or farm, like this one in Isle of Luing, Scotland. | HandoutOne of Canada’s most successful small-wind companies has carved out its niche with relatively old technology. Jonathan Barry, president of Seaforth Energy Inc. in Dartmouth, N.S., said his company’s AOC 15/50 turbine, developed in the early 1990s, is successful because it is proven technology. It has been installed all around the world, and its performance and characteristics are well known.  more...


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Harvesting the future: Wolfe Island's wind energy

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Wolfe Island is a sleepy agricultural community in the Thousand Islands region on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario. In 2009, the 48 sq. mile island became host to an 86-turbine wind farm, the second largest wind energy project in Canada. Owned and operated by TransAlta, the Alberta based oil company, the wind farm is expected to generate enough electricity to power 75,000 homes a year.  more...


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Galloo Island Wind Farm searches for power purchaser

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Galloo Island Wind Farm is shopping its electricity around to state and private buyers to keep the possibility of an underwater transmission line alive.  more...


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Zoning Great Lakes water? Officials say no

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Rhode Island has designated ocean waters for certain uses – and a coastal lawyer predicts such zoning is coming to a Great Lake near you.

But several Great Lakes officials disagree.

The Rhode Island program, Ocean Special Area Management Plan, designates zones to protect fragile ecosystems and has rules telling people what they can do in the water.

The zoning program was done, in part, to foster offshore wind energy development.  more...



Environment  Other  Wind  

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As GLOW dims, Lake Erie chosen to host offshore wind tests

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Through a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE), half a dozen researchers from the U.S. and Europe will test new methods of better harnessing wind energy, especially in farms with more than a few rows of turbines.  more...


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