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Wind Turbines Close to Home

Wind Turbines Close to Home

A debate is stirring in northern Michigan communities over how close wind turbines should be built to homes. (Photo by Erin Toner)

Host: Rebecca Williams
Show date: 01/27/2011

Summary:
A big wind energy proposal near Lake Michigan is promising to pump more than a hundred million dollars into the economy over the next couple of decades.

And supporters see wind as a good alternative to burning more fossil fuels such as coal.

But, as Bob Allen reports, questions are being raised about possible noise pollution from such large scale projects:

The North Carolina based giant Duke Energy wants to build more than a hundred 500 foot tall turbines in rural Benzie and Manistee counties. Michigan officials have identified parts of these two counties as having the 2nd highest wind potential in the state.

Alan O’Shea has been in the renewable energy business for the past thirty years. He’s promoting the project at an open house in a high school gym as a consultant for Duke.

“We don’t have to wait for Michigan to heal. This project can heal northern Michigan. I mean there are people, workers that are here looking for jobs.”

But there also are people in the area opposed to this project.

And on the same day that O’Shea talks up Duke’s plan, opponents draw a few hundred people to a film in a nearby town.

The documentary “Windfall” features residents in a small upstate New York community whose good feelings about wind power have turned sour.



A related Environment Report interview

A related Environment Report story


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