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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Michigan school to test Lake Michigan's wind

From an article by Dave Alexander in the Meskegon Chronicle:

Grand Valley State University’s wind turbine testing project for Muskegon Lake is shifting in a new direction.

Instead of a wind turbine at the east end of Muskegon Lake, GVSU’s Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center now is planning to move a wind test platform to Lake Michigan, where data can be collected on the pros and cons of turbines on a major lake.

The university has received $1.4 million in an “earmark” from U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, to advance wind turbine generation on the Great Lakes.

The idea of testing a turbine on Muskegon Lake is cost prohibitive with the federal dollars available, according to Arn Boezaart, interim director of the Muskegon-based MAREC. Efforts to partner with L-3 Communications in Muskegon have not been successful.

Discussions with officials from the U.S. Department of Energy and those interested in advancing a Great Lakes wind industry in West Michigan led to the idea of a floating, data-collection platform in Lake Michigan.

The platform would hold a anemometer that gauges wind speed. . . .

A data-collection platform established from 6-10 miles off the Muskegon shoreline would be left on the lake for two or three years. It would provide year-round wind data.

The floating platform also could test anchoring systems and show how Lake Michigan ice movements in the winter would affect an eventual lake-based turbine installation, Boezaart said.

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