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Ryan Horton


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Wind Power in Lake Michigan

Wind Power in Lake Michigan

Wind Energy – A New Kind of Power Generation in Panama Originally uploaded by thinkpanama Ryan Horton of the Public Policy Forum took a look at the possibility of wind turbines being built in Lake Michigan about 18 miles from Milwaukee. Horton examines the dollars and cents of the issue and briefly addresses the economic attractiveness boost it might give. He looks at how businesses might be enticed to move to Milwaukee because of the long-term competitive advantage wind power might generate. I think he fails to consider the potential marketing power of the turbines though. What sets Milwaukee apart from Cleveland, Detroit, and St. Louis? A massive wind power installation could be something that encourages recent college grads to look for employment in Milwaukee. I’m not saying people will move in mass to live in a city powered partially by wind power, but I do think college STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) graduates will be more inclined to come to Milwaukee over other comparable cities if there is a giant wind farm here. Milwaukee isn’t going to be Chicago simply because of scale, but when comparing it with other fresh coast cities a massive wind power installation could convince some that we’re cleaner than others. Milwaukee is currently an after-thought to a lot of college graduates when they look to apply for jobs out-of-state from where they graduated. We have lots of employers here that seem to be in constant need of new talent (Rockwell, Johnson Controls, Direct Supply, Northwestern Mutual, etc), why not build something that not only will help lower their costs long-term, but that also makes Milwaukee itself more appealing? Milwaukee could only benefit from an influx of engineers.