Suitability Profile for Offshore Wind on Lake Michigan (Chicago, Illinois)

Authors: Antoinette Montes*,
Topics: Energy
Keywords: offshore wind, Lake Michigan, energy
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Alternative energy is a growing area of study as society feels the impacts of fossil fuel use on the environment and countries seek energy independence. One potential answer to the need for clean, renewable energy options in the United States is the use of offshore wind. Lake Michigan is an ideal place for an offshore wind farm. I have created a suitability profile for an offshore wind farm on Lake Michigan by examining financial impact of the project using GIS. Financial impact is determined by job creation and the decrease in electricity costs. Using a survey, I analyzed the opinions of Chicago locals on the installation of an offshore wind farm. The survey supplemented information about offshore wind farms and asked if they would support a wind farm on Lake Michigan. The significance of the survey results was determined using a chi-squared test. I determined that this project would be feasible for the area, and economically beneficial with minimal opposition from residents. Jobs would be created by the installation of the project, as well as maintenance. This would also lower electricity costs for the area. This project can make Illinois a pioneer state for the environmental and economic benefits of renewable fuel sources. This will benefit the United States in their trek toward energy independence and expanding potential renewable sources. Creation of an offshore lake wind farm is critical in the steps toward using clean, renewable, inexpensive energy sources to limit emission of pollutants and exacerbation of the greenhouse effect.

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