In March, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) released the 2014 Wind Energy Resource Zone Report, its fourth annual report on the subject of wind power. Of particular interest are the state maps on pages 3, 5, and 8 showing the locations of the Wind Energy Resource Zones, existing individual wind projects, and projects under construction.
Wind Power Tripled
The report’s major finding is that in 2013, 175 megawatts of new wind capacity became commercially operational in Michigan, bringing the total to 1,161 MW. That means we’ve more than tripled our wind energy generation from 377 megawatts a little more than two years ago.
Additional growth is likely, although the federal Production Tax Credit for wind farms can have an impact and the continued advocacy by some to deregulate Michigan’s electricity market fuels uncertainty about Michigan’s future energy policies. As estimated by the American Wind Energy Association, wind power is capable of generating more than 1.6 times our state’s current electricity needs, so it’s an energy resource we need to continue to pursue in smart ways.
The impressive progress we’ve made so far places us at 16th in the nation and puts us well on pace to meet our state’s renewable energy standard goals. Moreover, the U.S. is 2nd in the world in wind energy generation.
Commitment to Michigan’s Energy Future
Our achievement in wind power has been a team effort fueled by investment from multiple sources. For example:
Together, we can help move Michigan closer to energy independence and a bright energy future, and wind power will continue to be an important resource contributing to a diverse energy portfolio.