The government’s 2010 update on wind energy in Michigan is now available. It confirms that wind cannot be a reliable source for renewable energy in Michigan. The figures reveal wind machines could produce power between 19 percent and 24 percent of the time — and only if well located. Many of these sites are off shore in the Great Lakes, and 3,900 machines would be required to meet Michigan’s needs.
Wind generators, perched atop a 300- to 500-foot tower, are small — you need many of them! Wind must exceed threshold velocity to start generating power, and achieve optimum velocity to produce rated power. Power companies must invest in complicated transmission system interconnection and controls.
One hundred percent backup must be provided, nuclear or fossil fueled, covering idle periods, which can amount to many weeks each year. A large, costly cadre of climbing engineers must be employed to maintain the armada of machines. Electric rates would escalate, driving more industries out of the state.
What motivation puts this unfunded mandate on the ballot? Is it to save the faltering wind machine industry? Is it an attempt to prove that voters can be fooled into a trap, cleverly concealed under the guise of “doing what is right?”
Schemes to enshrine that which is economic suicide in the state’s constitution should be soundly rejected by the voters at the polls this year.