In Spring 2008, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission opened a docket and created an external Study Group to complete a study to assist with examining the technical feasibility, economic potential, environmental impacts, and legal requirements associated with developing wind energy on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Last Friday, the Study Group released its draft report, with the final report due by December 31, 2008. The draft report is a comprehensive analysis of key issues in the areas of engineering and economics (including transmission and the cost of operation and maintenance), the human environment (including the freshwater ecosystem), legal issues (including consultation of federal, state, local and tribal authorities), and community involvement (including public perception). The draft report does not make a recommendation for or against the development of offshore wind in the Great Lakes, but identifies possible next steps to further evaluate the feasibility of such projects.
The draft report is open for public comment, and the PSC will take comments until Monday, November 10. The docket number is 5-EI-144.