WBEZ | wind farm http://www.wbez.org/tags/wind-farm Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Feds, 5 states to push for Great Lakes wind farms http://www.wbez.org/story/feds-5-states-push-great-lakes-wind-farms-97754 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-30/Wind farm_Flickr_Alex Bruns.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Obama administration and five states have agreed to speed up approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes.</p><p>There are no wind turbines in the lakes at present. Proposals have met fierce opposition from people worried the structures would ruin views and harm the environment.</p><p>Under the deal, federal and state agencies will develop a plan to speed regulatory review of proposed offshore wind farms. Officials say the projects would have to meet safety and environmental standards.</p><p>States that signed the deal include Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania.</p><p>Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin declined.</p><p>Administration officials disclosed the agreement to The Associated Press before a scheduled announcement Friday.</p></p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 14:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/feds-5-states-push-great-lakes-wind-farms-97754 Harvesting the future: Wolfe Island's wind energy http://www.wbez.org/content/harvesting-future-wolfe-islands-wind-energy <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-09/WolfeIsland_HarvestFuture_webpic.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-10/wolfe%20island%20wind%20farm_F%26C_Chris%20Trimmer.jpg" style="width: 630px; height: 471px;" title="Wind turbines tower over the farm fields that once sustained the Wolfe Island community. (Front and Center/Chris Trimmer)"></p><p>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.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-repeat-x: no-repeat; background-repeat-y: no-repeat; background-position: 0 5px; background-position-x: 0px; background-position-y: 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; } div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted #aa211d; border-top-width: 1px; border-top-style: dotted; border-top-color: #aa211d; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; } ul { margin-left: 15px; } li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-repeat-x: no-repeat; background-repeat-y: no-repeat; background-position: 0 5px; background-position-x: 0px; background-position-y: 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><br><ul><li><a href="story/gas-drilling-could-take-air-out-offshore-wind-93875"><strong>Gas drilling could take take air out of offshore wind</strong></a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/greatlakesjobs"><strong><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">INTERACTIVE GRAPH:</span></strong> <strong>Are the Great Lakes a great source for Jobs?</strong></a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/imadeajob"><strong>Are you a job creator? Tell us about it.</strong></a></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>With wind energy projects planned throughout the Great Lakes by both Canadian and US governments, Wolfe Island may be one of the first communities in the Great Lakes region to accommodate the shift towards wind energy production.</p><p>This audio collage weaves together the voices of island residents to explore: What happens when industry lands among sanctuary?</p><p>&nbsp;</p><h2>Great Lakes wind projects struggle for footing</h2><p>Offshore wind-energy advocates face tall hurdles in the Great Lakes, but some projects are advancing. WBEZ’s Maham Khan brings us these snapshots.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="tableauPlaceholder" style="width: 554px; height: 769px;"><noscript>&lt;a href="#"&gt;&lt;img alt=" " src="http:&amp;#47;&amp;#47;public.tableausoftware.com&amp;#47;static&amp;#47;images&amp;#47;Gr&amp;#47;GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies&amp;#47;Offshorewind&amp;#47;1_rss.png" style="height: 100%; width: 100%; border: none" /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</noscript><object class="tableauViz" style="display: none;" height="769" width="554"><param name="host_url" value="http%3A%2F%2Fpublic.tableausoftware.com%2F"><param name="name" value="GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind"><param name="tabs" value="no"><param name="toolbar" value="yes"><param name="static_image" value="http://public.tableausoftware.com/static/images/Gr/GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind/1.png"><param name="animate_transition" value="yes"><param name="display_static_image" value="yes"><param name="display_spinner" value="yes"><param name="display_overlay" value="yes"></object></div><div style="width: 554px; height: 22px; padding: 0px 10px 0px 0px; color: black; font: 8pt verdana,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><div style="float: right; padding-right: 8px;"><a href="http://www.tableausoftware.com/public?ref=http://public.tableausoftware.com/views/GreatLakesoffshorewindfarmproposalsandstudies/Offshorewind" target="_blank">Powered by Tableau</a></div></div></p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 13:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/harvesting-future-wolfe-islands-wind-energy Great Lakes may beat Atlantic to offshore wind http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-23/great-lakes-may-beat-atlantic-offshore-wind-88147 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-21/579px-wind_turbine_1888_charles_brush_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>States along the Atlantic Coast are racing to be first in the country to put wind turbines offshore. But a group in Ohio says the first offshore wind farm in America isn't likely to be in the Atlantic, but in the fresh waters of Lake Erie about seven miles off the Cleveland coast.</p><p>A dull gray salvage boat chugs out of the Port of Cleveland on a calm spring morning; it's part of the early stages of what some hope will become a major industry in Ohio. But today, the prospect of dozens of massive wind turbines sprouting from the lake floor seems remote.</p><p>Right now, there's only one structure on the water — a century-old, iron-clad water intake "crib" that juts 30 feet out of the water. A helmeted diver tethered to a nearby boat sinks into the murky water. His job is to recover an ice sensor sitting 50 feet down on the lake bottom.</p><p>Meanwhile three engineers climb the metal steps to the crib's roof where storm-battered instruments are gathering wind data. One of them, Aaron Godwin, says the numbers demonstrate the lake's energy potential.</p><p>"Actually this would be a good example of a day where we would be generating some pretty decent power," Godwin says. "You'll see that the instruments are spinning faster as you go up in elevation; again, one of the reasons you come out here is because it's unobstructed; it's clean wind."</p><p><strong>Lakes May Beat Atlantic to Offshore Wind</strong></p><p>Promoters of clean wind say, in the next decade, hundreds of turbines in Lake Erie could produce 1,000 megawatts of power — enough for 200,000 homes.</p><p>The plan is to start next year with a five-turbine pilot project within sight of downtown<em> </em>Cleveland. Its $100 million cost would be raised from investors and loans.</p><p>Chris Wissemann, the project's developer, says that with turbine supplier General Electric, engineering giant Bechtel, and Texas-based Cavallo Energy on board, his company, Freshwater Wind, will likely win the nation's offshore wind race.</p><p>"The Great Lakes will really be home to offshore wind long before we see it in the Atlantic," Wissemann says.</p><p><strong>Expensive Start-Up</strong></p><p>But first engineers need to solve a<em> </em>problem<em> </em>that most<em> </em>ocean wind farms don't have — massive floes of shifting ice each winter.</p><p>Data from the ice sensor recovered from the lake bottom will help engineers like Dave Mattheisen design foundations that can withstand those icy pressures, without "over-engineering" them. Each turbine will cost more than $20 million — so much money that it could take decades to recoup the investment.</p><p>But Wissemann insists the high costs of the pilot project will be outweighed by the long-term benefits.</p><p>"What we're talking about here now is a project that maybe produces high-priced power, but the trade-off is to get jobs," he says.</p><p><strong>'</strong><strong>The Math Doesn't Work'</strong></p><p>But not everyone believes it's worth it.</p><p>Cleveland industrialist Dan Moore has stakes in a dozen businesses, including one that builds turbine blades. But he says the numbers Wissemann is throwing around just don't add up.</p><p>"The concept of building windmills in Lake Erie is nonsense. $100 million for 3.4 megawatts it doesn't even come close to making sense," Moore says. "It's <em>Alice in Wonderland</em>." (Moore is referring to his projections of production for a pilot project to test the proposed wind farm.)</p><p>Moore thinks high-priced wind energy won't<em> </em>work in a region that needs electricity to power heavy industry.</p><p>"The math doesn't work, you're off by a decimal point," he says.</p><p>Some other Great Lakes players are backing away from offshore wind turbine development because of environmental concerns. In Michigan, lawmakers and residents are concerned about disturbing the lake's natural beauty. Meanwhile in Canada, all of Ontario's offshore power projects have been put on hold.</p><p><strong>Political, Economic Challenges</strong></p><p>But backers in Ohio say they've looked at the realities, and they're still optimistic.<em> </em>Lorry Wagner, head of the non-profit Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., says he understands the challenges.</p><p>"We know we have to get [the cost] down to approximately half of what it is today and that's an immense challenge, we don't have any illusions about how difficult this is going to be," Wagner says.</p><p>The world's first freshwater wind farm went online last year in Lake Vanern, Sweden. Engineers in Cleveland are hoping to benefit from lessons learned there. And they say the project's engineering problems are actually the easiest to solve — it's the political and economic challenges that are likely to remain the thorniest. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 WKSU-FM. <img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1308688930?&gn=Great+Lakes+May+Beat+Atlantic+To+Offshore+Wind&ev=event2&ch=1131&h1=Energy,Around+the+Nation,Science,Business,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=137295524&c7=1131&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1131&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110621&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=471&v20=D%3Dc20&c21=2&v21=D%3Dc2&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></div></p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 14:23:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-23/great-lakes-may-beat-atlantic-offshore-wind-88147 Chicago company pitches Illinois wind farm http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-company-pitches-illinois-wind-farm-87882 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-15/Wind farm_Flickr_Alex Bruns.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A Chicago-based energy company wants to build a 130-turbine wind farm in east-central Illinois.</p><p>Jim McMahon, Board Chairman of Vermilion County, says Invenergy has submitted a permit application to put more than 100 turbines there. According to its website, Invenergy develops and operates large-scale renewable energy facilities in North America and Europe.</p><p>An Invenergy spokesman says the company plans to submit a separate application this summer to put another 30 turbines in the eastern part of Champaign County. Invenergy officials say the company believes the area is a good location for a wind project, with a excellent wind resources and strong community support.</p><p>Invenergy maintains wind farms in fourteen U.S. states, including Illinois and Iowa. The new Illinois project would be Invenergy's second largest U.S. wind farm, next to a development in Scurry County, Texas.</p></p> Wed, 15 Jun 2011 16:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-company-pitches-illinois-wind-farm-87882