Wind Energy Development in the Great Lakes Region: Current Issues and Public Opinion

April 2014

This report outlines the status of wind energy policy and development in the Great Lakes Region, and compares this to public opinion on wind energy within the context of existing literature. The vast majority of residents within the Basin would like to see additional onshore and offshore wind energy projects, and generally see these projects as economically and environmentally beneficial to the Region. Residents of Ontario, which has seen rapid expansion of wind energy projects, while still supporting additional wind energy, are more cautious about the negative impacts of wind energy. This reserve is not shared by residents of Illinois and Minnesota, where there is even more wind development than in Ontario, but there are some indications that residents of rural areas echo the concern. Additional research that expands the number of rural residents in the response pool would allow for verification of this potential trend.