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Michigan bill blocks lake farms

Wind energy advocate slams proposal as ‘foolish beyond description’

Michigan bill blocks lake farms image

A handful of Michigan lawmakers have proposed legislation to block offshore wind projects in Lake Michigan.

House Bill 4778 would prevent the state from entering into a lease or deed to site and build any offshore wind research structures or any wind turbines on submerged lands.

It also blocks leasing of sub-lake land for transmission lines.

Two northern Michigan representatives, Ray Franz and Greg MacMaster, co-sponsored the legislation. Four other legislators signed their names to the proposal.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Energy and Technology, which will decide whether to pass it back to the House for a second reading.

Wind energy proponents have criticized the proposal. Michigan Environmental Council spokesman Hugh McDiarmid called the bill "foolish beyond description".

Grand Valley State University is in the final year of a three-year wind testing study on the Great Lake. A LIDAR equipped buoy is moored in 200 feet of water about seven miles west of Norton Shores.

Image: Lake Michigan wind testing buoy (GVSU)

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