Nov 12, 2021 • 33M

Wind Turbulence (Episode 1)

A podcast exploring complex questions surrounding wind development

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Almost since the day I moved here more than three years ago, I’ve been reporting on wind turbines.

There’s good reason to keep doing so, but I started feeling like I was just repeating the same story over and over again—public meeting, frustrated public, little concrete information, slow progress— only the names have been changed.

Rather than grow jaded with the important local story, I decided to try and dive a bit deeper. There are some questions that I don’t feel I’ve been able to answer in my reporting yet, and “Wind Turbulence” is an attempt to illuminate those questions for you using a different medium.

The purpose isn’t to help change anyone’s mind one way or the other about wind turbine development, but to bring some of the finer points of the discussion to the forefront while the moratoriums in place in Adams and Stanton townships give local citizens time to think without being concerned with looming construction.

In this first episode, I briefly interview Kathleen Halvorsen and Roman Sidortsov. I feel like any introduction I try to give them hardly does them justice. Both of them research and work with energy policy on a national and international level, but they also both live here, in Houghton County. We discussed the tradeoffs of local wind turbine development and the mitigating factor that distributed generation might play in energy development and resiliency.

In future episodes, I’m planning to explore the tax code surrounding wind turbines, how the Michigan Public Service Commission works, and other complex topics with people who are experts on them.

I hope the series will help people think deeply about the energy future of the Upper Peninsula.