On September 1, 2009, the Great Lakes Wind Council, created by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm in February 2009, issued its final report to the Governor.  The intended purpose of the report is to identify criteria that can be used to review applications for offshore wind development in the Great Lakes, and to identify criteria for identifying and mapping areas that should be categorically excluded from offshore wind development as well as those areas that are most favorable to such development.

Recommendations contained in the report include a set of criteria (broken out into most favorable areas, conditional areas, and categorical exclusion areas) to identify and map prudent siting for offshore wind, legislative and rule changes to establish a bottomland leasing process, the state ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepare a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement, and the Public Service Commission convene a forum to work with stakeholders on the economic analysis of different policy scenarios.

The report further recommends exclusion of offshore wind permits and leases from Part 325 of Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, clarification of state law to provide for offshore waters to be included in the public trust, and creation of a new statute governing offshore wind that would outline application requirements, permit review criteria, site assessment requirements, construction and operation plans requirements, decommissioning plans, and uses of funds by the state.