The Michigan Boating Industries Association, along with environmental groups, boating associations, and property owners are urging boaters to raise their voice in opposition of the proposed Icebreaker wind power turbines in Lake Erie.
Nicki Polan, executive director of MBIA says: “MBIA is not opposed to alternative sources of energy. But, regarding wind farms in our Great Lakes, we find far too many unanswered questions and documented risks to the health and aesthetics of these unique and often times fragile bodies of water. We stand opposed to plans such as the one being considered in Ohio now and we encourage all boaters and boating businesses to join us in communicating this to Ohio.”
Michigan borders on four of the five Great Lakes including a large portion of Lake Erie. Many Michigan residents’ boat on Lake Erie, and many Michigan businesses and citizens live and work along its shores.
Only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh water, and 20% of that is coming from the Great Lakes.
“Building wind turbines in Lake Erie will threaten clean water, boating access, one of the world’s best perch and walleye fisheries, bird migration, the safety and health of coastal residents, and so much more,” said Polan.
The initial goal of the Icebreaker plan is to place 6 wind turbines, with a final goal of 1,200 wind turbines in Lake Erie, costing an estimated $24 billion.
“Wind power has proved to be very high cost with low return,” said MBIA Board Member Jim Coburn of Coburn & Associated in Macomb, Mich. “Many wind turbine projects in the U.S. and overseas have been abandoned because of this. Why this is even being considered in our Great Lakes is beyond me.”
The case against turbines is extensive, including the fact that exploding and burning turbines can be commonplace. Each turbine contains over 400 gallons of industrial lubricants in their gearboxes.Gearbox seals are known to fail and will leak oil into the waters below. But when they burn there is no way to reach and extinguish them. As the 300-foot turbine blades burn, they create toxic emissions polluting the air and waters below.