Windmills Coming

dweller - December 11, 2008

Windmills are probably a coming thing—both near and in the Great Lakes. Here's a good newspaper summary of the status of windmill projects... And here's a story on "deep-water" windmill development for offshore mills..

 

Ocean-Explorer's picture

I, again, bring this subject up having just read the article about the proposed windmill farm off Pentwater. Clearly, if this farm is developed, it is going to be a very significant navigation hazard for the area. Is the Great Lakes Cruising Club going to stand idly by without expressing some viewpoint at the hearings? What percentage of Lake Michigan, or any of the Great Lakes, will we allow to be covered by windmills before the organization shows some interest, if not concern?

I have posted this same comment under the December 20, 2009 article about windmills.

Ocean-Explorer's picture

Just to clarify my intent in bring this up - I don't think for a second that the GLCC has the power to influence policy as to whether or not there will be windmills on the Great Lakes. But, there will undoubtedly be hearings as to location, and various interests should, and will, express themselves with regard to how the locations will impact their interests. I think the GLCC membership is likely to have a consensus on matters of location, and I would hope the Club would express itself on these matters. If the GLCC is not going to represent the interests of recreational boaters, who will?

JensenNR's picture

Denmark – where I’m from – is one of the world’s leaders in modern windmills, and now produces more than 22 percent of its electricity from them. Many of the huge windmills are successfully built in the coastal water (there are, for instance, about 20 of them sticking up of the water just outside Copenhagen’s Harbor), and others have been installed on the breakwaters of several harbors. They are very hard to miss, and some people strongly object to their negative esthetic impact on the environment, while others believe that the esthetic impact is far outweighed by the cleaner energy production.

(Incidentally, I haven’t heard anyone in Denmark seriously complain about them as a valid hazard to navigation, or causing excessive trouble — i.e. turbulence — for sailboats).

In short, the installation of modern windmills continues to be a controversial subject over there. It may be equally elusive to get a consensus among our members on the subject.

 Port Captain Niels R. Jensen, S/V Freelance

Ocean-Explorer's picture

I have now read several articles, including at least a couple on this web site, regarding proposals for installation of windmills within the waters of the Great Lakes. I wonder if the GLCC is going to take a position regarding full support, selective support, or non-support of installation of windmills. Clearly, such installations will have a significant impact on navigation in areas in which we cruise. It might be better to get involved in the process pro-actively, rather than after the fact.