Two northern Michigan representatives are pushing for restrictions on offshore wind projects.
Rep. Ray Franz of Onekama and Greg MacMaster of Kewadin co-sponsored the legislation with three other lawmakers. House Bill 4778 would stop Michigan from entering into a lease or deed that allows the use of unpatented lands for the siting, placement, construction, operation, or maintenance of any structure to research wind energy development, any wind turbine, or any equipment or structure related to a wind turbine.
In 2010 Scandia Wind Offshore proposed building 200 wind turbines in Lake Michigan off the shoreline in Mason and Oceana Counties. Another project by Scandia focused on a wind farm off the coast of Ottawa and Muskegon Counties.
The Lake Michigan P.O.W.E.R. Coalition was formed to help fight the plans. Oceana and Mason County residents both voted against the proposal in 2010. While approval from the communities was not necessary for the project to move foward, Scandia said it would not pursue the project unless it had local support.
Mason County officials say they haven't heard from Scandia since the offshore wind project was voted down three years ago.