Dennis Assanis, director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute at the University of Michigan, has been tapped by Gov. Jennifer Granholm to help shape the state’s strategy to harness offshore wind energy.
He will serve on the Great Lakes Wind Council, an advisory body within the Department of Energy, Labor, and Economic Growth that provides citizens with a public forum to begin to identify where, in the Great Lakes, wind energy systems may be prudently sited.
According to a report issued in September by the council, 20 percent of the 38,000 square miles of state-owned Great Lakes bottomlands has potential for offshore wind development. Within this area, 537 square miles are considered to be most favorable to the sustainable development of offshore wind energy.
The council’s report recommends a package of legislative and rule changes to help guide the development of offshore wind energy. Recommended changes would facilitate the permitting, leasing, construction, and monitoring of offshore wind projects while protecting natural resources.
Assanis is the Jon R. and Beverly S. Holt professor of engineering and an Arthur F. Thurnau professor. The energy institute develops, coordinates and promotes multidisciplinary energy research and education at the U-M.
The council must provide a report of its activities to the governor no later than Nov. 15, 2010, and complete its work by Dec. 31, 2010.