Great Lakes Offshore Wind Power Moves Ahead

The Obama Administration says the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with state governors of the Great Lakes region will open America’s north-east to ‘more than 700 gigawatts’ of offshore wind power.
The governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania all signed the agreement, designed to ensure state and federal agencies work together on approvals for new wind farm proposals through a new streamlined planning process.
With energy a hot-button topic as America’s mammoth election cycle begins to roll on, wind power is seen as a vital part of Obama’s "all of the above" approach to solving the nation’s reliance on imported oil.
Obama has faced criticism for spruiking renewable energy – such as big solar power projects – as the foreign oil and climate change cure-all, and so recently changed tack to a position of "all of the above" (a phrase originally introduced by Republicans to describe a policy of increasing domestic energy supplies of oil, coal and gas; nuclear; wind power; large-scale solar, etc.,).
"President Obama is focused on leveraging American energy sources, including increased oil and gas production, the safe development of nuclear power, as well as renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, which is on track to double in the President’s first term," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Obama hit back at critics recently while visiting a major solar farm, calling those who oppose renewable energy as "charter members of the Flat Earth Society".
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Great Lakes have the potential to supply up to one-fifth of the total wind energy of the entire continental United States and that by turning even small areas of the region over to wind farm development would create tens of thousands of jobs and boost local economies.
With the USA’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimating every gigawatt of offshore wind capacity installed could produce enough electricity to power 300,000 homes, the Great Lakes could become a massive clean energy asset for the U.S.
Last month the DOE announced $180 million in funding for new innovative offshore wind energy installations in the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific, which could provide clean energy to coastal cities where much of the nation’s population and electricity demand lies.