As Constant as the Wind

Here in West Michigan, there has been a lot of rumblings lately about the potential of wind power.

I'm not sure the public has entirely caught on to how soon we could be seeing companies making serious proposals for relatively large wind projects. I am also uncertain how prepared local governments are to tackle the issue from an ordinance standpoint. I do know from experience that many local officials do not like cell towers. Any proposals that are made at the local level may encounter resistance or delays as local governments try to play regulatory catch-up or deny the concept altogether based on aesthetic concerns.

I am proponent of alternative energy solutions (I am bullish on the future of solar) as well as expanded use of nuclear energy, but I am also a proponent of making informed decisions. On Wired , Bruce Sterling highlights some of the risks of wind power that I have not seen addressed often regarding wind power, especially the danger of overloading the grid. My advice to local officials reviewing these proposals is to start asking questions about power overloads during high wind events. I'd be interested to hear if these companies have something in place.

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