Great Lakes Wind Council Created by Governor of Michigan

February 12, 2009

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm signed an executive order on February 6 that created the Great Lakes Wind Council, which will identify the best places to site offshore wind systems and the best ways to regulate offshore wind development in the Great Lakes. The council is an advisory body within the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth , which acts as the state energy office.

In addition to engaging the public in assessing statewide interests concerning the siting of wind installations, the council will define criteria for reviewing applications for offshore wind development. The State of Michigan holds title to about 40 percent of the bottomlands of the Great Lakes but does not yet have criteria to govern the siting of offshore wind systems.

The council will also identify criteria for mapping areas that should be excluded from such development and those that are most favorable. The executive order states that, if developed properly, offshore wind in a very small portion the state's share of the Great Lakes "could provide a significant portion of Michigan's and the Midwest's electricity needs, improve Michigan's economy, and create jobs in this state." The order also aims to ensure that wind systems are not sited in areas that would harm tourism, recreation, shipping, fishing, wildlife populations, property values, or citizens' quality of life.

In creating the council, Granholm appointed 13 civic leaders representing various statewide interests, including land policy; the environment; Native Americans; and the tourism, shipping, and energy industries. The executive order also stipulates that the council include the directors of the state energy office, and the Departments of Environmental Quality, Natural Resources, and Transportation, in addition to heads of other state agencies.

The council must report its findings to the governor by September 1, 2009.

For more information, see the governor's February 6 press release and the executive order .

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in Michigan, see: