This is a wind energy map.
This map claims there is no wind in Northern Illinois or Indiana. I guess the creators of this map never traveled up Route 39 from Bloomington to Rockford. I think China even owns a wind farm near Paw Paw in Lee County now. There are some huge wind farms in central Indiana also.
Here's another wind energy map.
This one acknowledges there is some wind in Illinois, a little less wind in eastern Iowa, and no wind in western Montana. First map had a tremendous amount of wind on the west side of Montana. This also acknowledges the wind blows on Lake Michigan and the coast lines.
I think this might be the map RICL likes to use now.
It's pretty with lots more colors. I can see why RICL likes it. It shows even more wind in Illinois but there are lots and lots of color right down the center of the nation. Northwestern Iowa has a lot of pretty purples and red. Absent from this map is the offshore winds. It's a slick PR move. This map doesn't imply there is no wind off the coasts or on the Great Lakes. It just omits the information and the reader's eye is naturally drawn to that colorful bad down the center of the map.
This map is the latest and greatest from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
Markian Melnyk is the President of Atlantic Wind Connection and said it best.
These are not wind energy maps. These are political maps.
There is a map for Atlantic Wind Connection that shows wind off the New England shores. There is a map for RICL that shows wind in Iowa and omits offshore wind. There is a map that shows no wind in Illinois. There is a wind map to show whatever you want to justify for personal benefit, greed, or politics. Sometimes politics is just a blend of personal benefit and greed.
So a couple of friends and I have been discussing this and came up with an idea. Illinois is in debt up to its eyeballs, something like 4 billion short. The surrounding states own Lake Michigan. Illinois owns a good chunk of it. Why not put lay a HVDC backbone in Lake Michigan?
From Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan a HVDC backbone can be laid. Wind energy companies can pay Illinois for a lease just like they pay farmers and landowners in Illinois. Just like Atlantic Wind Connection off the New England coast, this can provide energy to each state surround the Great Lake. Illinois state government can also receive the monthly royalties.
Lake Michigan is fresh water and not salt water. The wind turbines would not fight corrosion like off shore ocean wind turbines. This means such a project would be even more feasible than off the Atlantic coast.
I know what some out there are thinking. "There can only be only one on ramp and off ramp for a HVDC powerline."
This is just another RICL lie that should have been answered if Michael Skelly held actual informational meeting like the ICC intended. Atlantic Wind Connection's HVDC backbone will have multiple connections. It's a brilliant idea. Power can travel up and down a HVDC backbone. It would be like building a electrical infrastructure around the residential centers with minimal disrupting to landowners and residential disruption.
Atlantic Wind Connection's proposed HVDC Backbone
Atlantic Wind Connection's idea is brilliant and would even work betting in Lake Michigan. It would help Wisconsin's energy demands. It would help all the Great Lake states. It would make Lake Michigan a profit center for Illinois government. Of course there are probably some very powerful and influential people in Chicago like the "Rahmfather" who would not allow this in his back yard but the clean energy would benefit those who are actually consuming it. Perhaps it is time Chicagoland sacrifice a little rather than continually asking rural America to make a sacrifice for them.
One last map.
What sense is there for RICL to build a powerline halfway across the nation when the best winds are right next to the population centers?
The RICL project has nothing to do with what is the best for Illinois, a region, or the nation.
This is about personal greed for its billionaire funders.