“We thrive and survive on planet earth as a single human family. And one of our main responsibilities is to leave to successor generations a sustainable future.” - UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan

Aquinas College

Wind

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Vestas wind turbine at Traverse City, Michigan. Produces around 800,000 kilowatt hours every year.
Traverse city Light & Power - Photo by Don Rutt (NREL PIX number 13734)

In the world today, wind power is growing at a rate of 27% per year, making it the fastest growing energy source. At today's energy prices, wind is less expensive than electricity produced from gas and coal (Worldwatch Institute). Wind farms are beginning to pop up in a variety of areas partly because wind energy is a relatively affordable technology. The obvious drawback of this technology is that the feasibility is limited to windy regions.

Links

American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)

Since 1974, AWEA has been an advocate for the development of wind energy as a reliable, environmentally superior energy alternative in the United States and around the world. Their site provides a free resource library and is a good source of information for anyone interested in current wind energy projects and policy.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

The Clean Development Mechanism was one of the strategies selected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. This PDF document is a great resource for information on current strategies utilized in the wind industry, basic information on wind turbines, and a financial evaluation of the technology.

Mackinaw Power

Mackinaw Power, LLC of Michigan is a commercial wind power project developer that formed in 2003. Visit this site to find out more about this company’s initiatives and to learn about other wind energy news and information.

Mariah Power

The Windspire® wind turbine, manufactured in Manistee, Michigan, is an “affordable, attractive, and silent vertical axis wind power appliance." The wind turbine is only 30 ft. tall and 4 ft. wide, but it has the power to create clean energy from the natural wind. The site provides technical information on how the wind turbine works, as well as general information on wind energy.

Michigan Wind Energy Resource Maps

This link contains wind energy resource maps for Michigan, or estimates of wind strength, generated mostly with computer modeling. "They are intended to be suggestive of areas within Michigan that may be suitable for wind generators. Values represented for any geographic location may differ from actual conditions at the same location. Although the maps are believed to represent an accurate overall picture of the wind energy resource, estimates at any location should be confirmed by measurement before purchase or installation of any wind power systems." The maps were developed by AWS Truewind for the Michigan Energy Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

NREL is the nation's primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL was established in 1974 and in September 1991, was designated a national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This organization’s website is a good source of free published research on wind energy.

Select Local Wind Projects:

Sustainable Energy Coalition (SEC)

The SEC is comprised of more than 30 national business, environmental, consumer, and energy policy organizations. The Coalition was founded in 1992 and promotes increased federal support for energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and reduced federal support for unsafe or polluting energy sources.

The RETScreen International Clean Energy Decision Support Centre

"The RETScreen International Clean Energy Decision Support Centre seeks to build the capacity of planners, decision-makers and industry to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency projects."

U.S. Department of Energy Wind Guide

The U.S. DOE provides a useful, comprehensive Michigan consumer's guide containing introductory information on wind energy. Relevant contents include wind turbine practicality, citing and size issues, potential relationships to "the grid", and a glossary of terms.

Funded by the Steelcase Foundation of Grand Rapids, Michigan
Header photo by Carol Y. Swinehart, courtesy of Michigan Sea Grant Extension
Site by CMC/GrandNet