Initial Plans Revealed For Off-Shore Wind Farm In Lake Michigan

Sample offshore wind farm via Popular Science

Initial details have been revealed for a potential off-shore wind farm near 3600 E 95th Street in the East Side community area. Located near the Illinois International Port District close to the state line with Indiana, the new proposal seeks to create the first facility of its kind on the Great Lakes ahead of other states vying for the opportunity. The plans were introduced by State Representatives Marcus Evans Jr. and Robert Peters at a neighborhood meeting this past week in hopes of getting locals on board.

Different types of anchors for off-shore wind farms via Tethys

Off-shore wind farms are nothing new and have been seeing a rise in popularity across the world as they tend to have less of an impact on people and landscapes. Currently 75 percent of those in use are spread across the United Kingdom, Germany, and China alone, becoming more cost effective and competitive with land-based energy solutions. Their creation in Northern Illinois would help increase the amount of wind generated electricity from its current three percent, but faces various hurdles including ice in the winter and equity with the power produced.

Site context map with the Illinois International Port District in red and 15-mile radius circle over the lake via Google Maps

Part of the larger Rust Belt to Green Belt bill, the first phase seeks approval in order to create a framework for building out the farm and applying for federal funds from various national sources including the infrastructure bill. The farm would join proposals in Ohio and New York and be located roughly 15 miles into the lake from the port area, near neighborhoods that have suffered from years of disinvestment and rising energy costs. Thus the community would like to see formal plans that involve hiring locals for the construction as well as using the generated power for those areas according to Block Club.

Illinois wind farms via Hydrogen Fuel News

Part of the funding they are hoping to secure is from the U.S. Department of Transportation who is bidding out $230 million in port infrastructure projects. The bill will be up for debate in November and if passed it would start a 360-day period in which the Illinois Power Agency would have to seek proposals for the farm. Once the bids come in, they will be graded on a 100-point scale based on the ability to create opportunities in underrepresented communities. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts the Great Lakes could generate six gigawatts of energy or enough to power 4.5 million homes.

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23 Comments on "Initial Plans Revealed For Off-Shore Wind Farm In Lake Michigan"

  1. How about the Dept. of Transportation worry about our terrible crumbling roads and bridges and actual ports before destroying our beautiful Great Lake for another green energy scam or is our transportation secretary out on paternity leave and cant be bothered with his job?

    • That’s simply unhelpful. Just bury your head in the sand and do nothing is no longer a viable alternative. Get with the program or suggest something better than drill baby drill. No one really wants to hear this boomer nonsense anymore. And I’m a boomer!

      • Billions will be spent on green energy and the global temperature will not even drop a degree. Don’t ruin our lake with pipe dreams. #Imaboomer

      • Wind is not s scam. Here in Michigan wind creates 100’s of MEGAWATTS per turbine cleanly. You cant see the turbines out on the water. Big deal if you do. They are freaking cool to watch.

  2. Hideous. I am hoping that this is dead in the water. Lets do solar roofs on every home in the city and nuclear power downstate. need strong leadership to protect the lake…

  3. This would be pretty great! Hope to see it happen!

    I think that first stock image gives the wrong impression though. If these really are placed 15 miles into the lake, they will be virtually invisible to the naked eye.

  4. Love seeing this effort to make Chicago even more diverse in its sustainable energy sources. There’s a lot of wind waiting to be harvested out on the lake and I find windmills endlessly fascinating and majestic to look at.

    Thanks for reporting on this.

    • Until one or a hundred scare the once beautiful landscape. I’m not against sustainable energy sources but I am against the thought that this is the cure all. It’s not and it can be ugly. Ask a downstate farmer.

  5. Those windfarms are built with such a massive energy deficit to recoup, and they rarely do. When I call them a scam, I am talking about the btu electrical equivalent that the natural gas furnaces use to produce the formed metal support structure, cement foundations, and the unrecyclable fiberglass fins, will take nearly a century, yes, a 100 years, for these wind farms to produce the energy it took to build it. They take tremendous amounts of petroleum based lubricant and rarely last past the 50 year age mark.

    They are hugely inefficient and kill birds like the cultural revolution. Stop falling for this scam.

    • How would we search for information on this, if true? (links don’t post here)

      You’re saying the energy to build one windmill (let’s say a modest 1MW) takes more energy than what it takes to power 1,000 homes over 50 years? I’m not saying impossible, but doesn’t sound right. But if it truly takes more carbon to produce the windmills than they will ever potentially save, then yes this would be a scam. I can’t imagine they’d be as pervasive if this were true, however. This is why we really need a carbon tax so we know which technologies are truly “cheaper” in terms of resources and environmental cost. But nobody really wants one.

      • Thankfully after reviewing some searches I could answer my own question:

        “More specifically, they figure that wind turbines average just 11 grams of CO2 emission per kilowatthour of electricity generated. That compares with 44 g/kwh for solar, 450 g for natural gas, and a whopping 1,000 g for coal.

        But beating them all is the original large-scale zero-carbon power source, nuclear power, at 9 g/kwh.

        Thanks to technology, these stats aren’t static. Offshore wind turbines are becoming enormous, with General Electric’sGE +1.7% Haliade X featuring blades 360 feet long and generating 14 megawatts. The carbon footprint of such monsters could get as low as 6 g/kwh.”

        — Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff. How Green Is Wind Power, Really? A New Report Tallies Up The Carbon Cost Of Renewables

        • Please look up the amount of energy it takes to produce the thing in the first place, then get back to me. Per hour it’s running? How about everything it took to build it?

          • Look up the article Chiguy quotes. Those are the average amortized carbon footprints. That is: the total amount of carbon it takes to build and maintain a wind turbine divided by its average energy output over its lifespan yields 11g/kwh.

          • Oh and those unrecyclable fiberglass fins?
            “Increasingly these old blades are being put to modest new use — broken down, ground up and added to cement as filler.”

  6. With all the open farmland that would make it easier to put up and maintain, let’s put the wind turbines up in water so more unions can get involved – even the new one for highly paid high-risk scuba diver maintenance crews, make it difficult during the winter months to fix them, create a navigation hazard on the border, and shorten the useful lifespan of the turbines so we can pay twice for them. As long as they don’t freeze up during the winter, I bet we can get a good deal from the CCP to make them with enslaved labor at 150% cost plus grifter fees. This is a money grab!

    • Until one or a hundred scare the once beautiful landscape. I’m not against sustainable energy sources but I am against the thought that this is the cure all. It’s not and it can be ugly. Ask a downstate farmer.

  7. Let’s join together young and old alike to protest this land pollution and protect our beautiful natural resources and GreatLakes

  8. What a complete waste of money. This will not save the world. If you want to save world in a clean way then turn to nuclear. The money being wasted on windmills and solar could be put towards nuclear as well as a plan for safe storage. Safe storage is possible if it wasn’t for the environmental nuts and government beauracrats that block resolution to the waste storage issue. Please, save our lake!!

  9. Complete waste of time and money. Nuclear and solar are obviously the future for Illinois. This will just ruin the vista of Lake Michigan and kill millions of migratory birds on one of the most important migratory tracks in America.

  10. These leak oil … I see it we’re I live … The oil runs down the blades they’re filthy … How could you ever touch our Great Lakes ….They flash red lights at night you can see them for miles …. it would destroy your beautiful view during the day and night

  11. THIS IS HORRIBLE-WHOEVER THINKS THIS IS GOOD SHOULD BE THROWN OUT OF OFFICE! EVERYONE knows what these do to birds. if they don’t, they are morons.

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