As recently as a couple of months ago, construction of a wind farm in Lake Erie, off the Ohio shoreline near Cleveland, looked promising. But now some are sounding the death knell for any wind development in the Great Lakes.
The Department of Energy estimates the country has an offshore wind capacity of four million megawatts. That’s four times the generating capacity of all U.S. electric power plants.
Michigan was among a handful of states working with federal agencies a few years ago to speed up the development of wind farms off the shores of the Great Lakes.
Wind energy developer Lorry Wagner says leaders started looking toward the energy sector to create more jobs. He says that’s when they realized the region’s potential for offshore wind energy.
“The real resource is in the lake. And the reason for that is you get about three times the energy due to the higher wind speeds and less turbulence than you do on land," he says.