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Can the Wind power the Windy City?

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  1. Can the Wind power the Windy City? Prospects for wind turbines in Lake Michigan Kalyna Procyk Chicago-Kent College of Law April 23, 2004

  2. Lake Michigan is great resource • Source of drinking water • Tourism • Transportation • Freshwater ecosystem • Sustains many cities

  3. Lake Michigan has problems • Caused by energy production • Air pollution • Coal fired plants • 50% of electricity around Lake from coal-fired plants

  4. Air pollution: bad for the Lake • Coal plant emissions deposits Mercury in Lake • Fish and Mercury • Don’t eat Lake fish more than 1x per week

  5. Air pollution: bad for us • Harvard study • 2 coal plants caused 43,300 asthma attacks, 1710 ER visits, 159 deaths • Chicago contributes 30% of Lake Mercury

  6. Clean Energy in Lake MI area: wouldn’t it be nice?

  7. Clean Energy Possibilities • Solar • Biomass • Hydropower • Fuel cell • Wind – the only realistic option

  8. Overview – can Lake MI wind provide reliable & cheap energy? • Background • History • Current projects • Lake Michigan project • Pros/ cons • Benefits • Problems • Public opinion

  9. History of Wind power • Before Common Era (B.C.E./B.C) windmills used to grind grain • By WWII a few were making electricity • 1970s oil embargo California “wind rush”

  10. Wind: a growing trend • Wind production increased in last 10 years worldwide • Capacity doubled between 1999-2003 • 22 states have wind projects • IL has 3 projects in the works

  11. Wind production

  12. Offshore wind • 1980s Oil prices went down, market dried up • 1990s Denmark experiments with offshore wind

  13. Countries 5 Projects 16 Turbines 299 Capacity 552 MW Annual Production 1.950.000.000 kWh World Wide Offshore Wind production

  14. International projects expanding fast Denmark – 18% of all energy Wants to have 50% by 2030 Germany closing down nuclear plants 36 projects in the works 60,000 MW planned Other countries United Kingdom Belgium Spain Poland France Ireland Sweden Canada Offshore Wind Current Projects

  15. Offshore wind

  16. U.S. Offshore wind projects • “Cape Wind” on Cape Cod, Massachusetts • 130 turbines proposed • 420 MW capacity • Power ¾ of all of Cape & Islands • Graphically enhanced view from Nantucket, 13.8 mi.

  17. Already proposed here but not yet accepted Proposal I - Possible location 3-4 miles offshore SE Wisconsin Proposal II - Chicago Co. near Chicago but no filings with Army Corp. of Engineers…..yet Conditions 14mph winds Class 4-5 winds 80-100 ft depth Many transition lines Lake Michigan Offshore Wind?

  18. Lake Michigan Winds

  19. Decrease energy related air emissions Comply with Kyoto Diversification protects against price increases Extends life of fossil fuels Enhances national security Revenue for states Why wind?

  20. Why Offshore Wind? • Higher winds • Probably same cost • Can be close to Lake urban areas • Less noise • Wind steadier over water • Less visual impact

  21. Problems • Aesthetics • Noise & Safety • Environmental issues • Economics • Reliability • Regulatory Issues

  22. Aesthetics • They’re ugly? • Cape Wind issue • Determinative issue • Urban areas protest land based turbines • Offshore less visually intrusive

  23. View of Cape Wind:Graphically enhanced view from Craigville, 6.8 mi.

  24. Noise • Turbines are noisy? • From 250 meters, .43 decibels – a conversation • Industry nearby .50 decibels • Turn slowly 16 turns per minute

  25. Safety • Boats • Navigation • Paint them red? Flashing lights?

  26. Environmental issues (1) • Bird kills • 1980s California 50-60 Golden Eagle killed per day • New turbines slower • Scientists study bird migration patterns • Lake Michigan – need further study

  27. Environmental Issues (2) • Fish • Turbines serve as barrier reef promoting different species • Navigation difficulties • Noise doesn’t appear to harm • Habitat degradation w/ maintenance • No issues appear serious

  28. Wind is still expensive $.03-.06 /KWH Offshore wind costs more, but produces more wind up to 2x that on land Economics

  29. Land Issues • Land v. Offshore • Wind turbines attractive to rural areas • Rent payments to farmers $1,500-3,500 • Taxes to counties MN 155MW farm received $721,000 • Texas National Wind Project 20% of funds go to schools

  30. Is wind energy reliable? No • Output varies with wind • Need back up generation Yes • BUT, wind patterns very predictable • Not a problem in Europe • Also, can be serviced one at a time

  31. How is wind reliable? • Wind energy contributes to overall reliability of overall electricity network • Decreases cost of electricity • When fossil fuels are expensive, price forces instability in industry costs • Wind energy has stable price • As % of energy system wind can decrease overall costs, preventing volatile shifts in energy costs

  32. Most significant factor in Wind cost - Policies • Policies are the main causes of price instability & decrease investment • Federal tax Credit • ~1.5 cents • Due to be renewed? • internalizes benefits of clean energy

  33. Policies – States • State credits • Low interest loans • Property tax break • Policy uncertainty drives price up because increases risk

  34. Policies – States (2) • Renewable Portfolio Standard • Requires certain % of energy bought/ created by a public utility to be from renewables • Soon, TX > CA in wind • Incremental increase of % of renewables 400MW in ’04, 600 MW in ‘06

  35. Policies – Transmission Lines • Transmission line hookups • Need to get energy from turbines to markets • No one wants to build new transmission lines • No incentive, no public support, no $ • Lake Michigan has many lines

  36. Offshore Regulatory Issues • Where federal & state jurisdiction meets & overlaps • How existing environmental regulations should be applied to Offshore Wind Development • How environmental permitting and Land use permitting relate to one another

  37. Filed by opponents of project Judge held that Cape Wind did not have to get fisheries license and environmental review from MA Statute at issue said that state can determine “who, by what means and how much” someone can fish Judge held nothing says MA can regulate non-fishing activities just because they impact fish The point – its unclear what state environmental regulations would apply to offshore wind projects Cape Wind I

  38. Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound asked to invalidate a permit by Army Corps of Engineers to build a data collection tower Argued USACE did not have jurisdiction to issue permit unless it related to resource extraction Judge held that under sec. 10 Rivers and Harbors Act USACE has broad approval over any navigable water Up to 3 miles offshore Sec 4(f) of Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act gives authority to regulate Outer Continental Shelf activities Cape Wind II

  39. Cape Wind II (2) • Wrongly decided? • Outer Continental Shelf Lands act ONLY relates to resource extraction • The point – there is no system for federal regulation to put things in Federal waters

  40. Under regulation causes regulatory uncertainty, thus increases risk & costs no federal regulation ! Don’t want to give private companies unfettered access to public lands Very bad precedent to set in Lake Michigan, which is held in the public trust Cape Wind’s regulatory problems

  41. Two bills (1) to regulate/ approve energy activities on outer continental shelf under Minerals Management service under Dpt. Of Interior No mechanism f/ distribution of land Easements f/ right of way (2) Ocean zoning Implication for Lake Michigan unclear Possible legislation?

  42. Lake MI – Special Issues • Drinking water & Contained area make it a unique place • Other project should go first to determine implications • Energy supply in Lake area is stable • Could set a bad precedent for laying unwanted telecom cable or oil & gas pipelines

  43. Lake Michigan – Public opinion • Hingtgen study • Strong preference f/ onshore (65%) v. offshore (16%) in Lake Michigan area especially where visible • Exception – where area used for agriculture or industry • Public relations crucial in siting

  44. It’s too early to tell what specific projects should or should not be developed in Lake Michigan Watch legislation/ regulations closely Bird & fish studies needed More information needed on areas within agricultural or industrial zones Unclear who would own the towers – co op v. independent producer Unclear who would regulate local v. state v. federal government But, wind turbines in Lake Michigan are a cleaner source of local energy and probably will be developed soon. Conclusions

  45. Sources • Davis, Brent. The Winds of Change, WL 102207060 (2002). • Galiano, Troy. Renewing the energy debate, WL 9686955 (2002) • GLREA RPS Position Statement, • Lerner, Howard. Cleaning, Greening and Modernizing the Electric Power Sector in the 21st Century, 14 Tul. Envtl. L.J. 277 (2001) • Hartland, Nathanael, The Wind and The Waves: Regulatory Uncertainty and Offshore Wind Power in the United States and United Kingdom, 24 U. Pa. J. Int’l Econ. L. 691 (2003)

  46. Sources (II) • Millard, Pete. Prepare for wind farms on the Lake, • Hingtgen, John. Offshore Wind Farms in the Western Great Lakes: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Their Potential. • Doyle, Timothy. Can the Windy City Harness its Power?

  47. Sources (III) • Real de Azua, Christine, The Future of Wind Energy, 14 Tul. Envtl. L.J. 485. • Schulz, Michael. Questions Blowing in the Wind: The Development of Offshore Wind as a Renewable Source of Energy in the United States, 38 New Eng. L. Rev. 415. • • •