The Understanding Wind Energy Initiative is led by a team representing six townships in Manistee and Benzie counties to facilitate community learning and education about wind energy options. The leadership team for the Initiative includes representatives from Arcadia, Onekama, Bear Lake and Pleasanton Townships in Manistee County and Blaine and Joyfield Townships in Benzie County. The Initiative will guide township plans and wind ordinances that reflect community goals and scientific research.
The Initiative has evolved to encompass three phases, guided by a Macalester College research team:
- a Wind Energy Landscape Symposium attended by a select group of participants chosen through an application process aimed at demographic balancing;
- a Wind Energy Community Survey mailed to property owners, and administered in street level interviews and online;
- Responses to over 20 pages of questions about wind energy submitted by a large number of residents and other interests.
Macalester College was selected as a lead consultant for the project by the Leadership Team as a result of a recommendation from the Michigan Association of Planning and review and follow up discussions with members of the Macalester team.
This effort is funded through a grant from the CS Mott Foundation to facilitate community learning and education about wind energy options and to help guide township plans and ordinances. The Symposium has been supported by a separate grant from the National Science Foundation to Professor Phadke (#SES 1027294).