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GLIN==> Wind on the Water Work Group Considers Wind Power on Lakes Michigan and Superior in Wisconsin



Wind on the Water Work Group Considers Wind Power on Lakes Michigan and Superior in Wisconsin

Governor Doyle's Executive Order #191 recognized the importance of reducing Wisconsin's greenhouse gas emissions and established the Governor's Task Force on Global Warming. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, which is providing support to the Task Force, has opened a docket investigating the feasibility and potential of offshore wind energy projects on the Great Lakes.  The work group assembled to support this effort is called Wind on the Water (WOW).

The WOW group will look at the potential for developing wind energy on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Wisconsin has already committed to get 10% of its energy from renewable sources by 2015, and land-based wind resources already provide some renewable energy.  However, the winds on the Great Lakes blow at a significiantly greater speed and consistency than wind over land in Wisconsin.  WOW's task is to investigate the viability of this tremendous asset - offshore wind power - taking into account the costs, benefits, and impacts for the state and local communities.

WOW consists of four groups addressing issues related to the environmental, physical, legal, fiscal and public acceptance viability of offshore wind energy generation in Wisconsin's Great Lakes waters.

The Legal/Regulatory Work Group is charged with investigating the regulatory approvals and consultations required for electrical generation on Lakes Michigan and Superior from wind turbines or wave generators, as well as the legal standards that must be met to obtain those approvals and statutory changes that might be necessary for developing these types of projects on the Great Lakes. The Human Environment Work Group is responsible for framing the full range of environmental issues associated with construction, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of wind turbines and associated collector/transmission lines on Lakes Michigan and Superior. The Engineering and Economics Work Group is charged with examining possible technology for constructing and operating wind energy facilities on water, challenges for generation of power, determining the data necessary for further analysis, and the costs and financing for development of wind energy facilities in the Great Lakes. Finally, the Community Outreach Group will be working to provide Wisconsin Great Lakes communities with information and soliciting feedback on WOW. They may also review existing community comprehensive plans and land use regulations that are applicable to Great Lakes wind energy generation.

The full Wind on Water work group will meet five additional times this summer before reporting its findings to the Public Service Commission at the end of August 2008. Upcoming meetings will be held June 23, July 7, July 29, August 11 and August 20 at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, 610 North Whitney Way, in Madison. Agendas for each meeting will be posted on the PSC Web Site on its event calendar.  To view the calendar, visit this link: http://psc.wi.gov/apps/eventcalendar/calendar.aspx.

You can follow the process and receive information on WOW from the PSC Electronic Regulatory Filing System, by following these simple steps:

1.      Log on to https://psc.wi.gov/apps/erf_upload/default.aspx
2.      Click "Create New Individual Account," fill out the form, and click "Submit"
3.      Click on "Subscription" at the bottom of the left hand menu, then the "New Subscription Menu" button.
4.      Pull down Utility ID menu and select the number "5"
5.      Type Case Type: "EI" Then, type Sequence: "144" Finally, type Search Name: "WOW"
6.      Click the "Save -> Subscribe List" button
7.      Your subscription is complete! The PSC will send you an email when new documents associated with WOW are available. Just click on the link in the email and use your logon and password to view the document.


If you have any questions about the Wind on the Water Initiative, please contact Mike Friis, Wisconsin Department of Administration, at Coastal@Wisconsin.gov.


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