GVSU wind buoy launched for third year of research

Date: May 6, 2013

Story originally published on mLive.com on May 4, 2013.
Buoy 3rd year

With its wind research buoy securely anchored in Lake Michigan off the coast of Muskegon, Grand Valley State University officials will be in Chicago next week promoting its efforts to the national wind energy industry.

Andrie Inc.’s Specialized Division anchored the wind research platform six miles off the Muskegon County shoreline between Muskegon and White Lakes. The GVSU Michigan Alternative and Renewable Energy Center’s third year of a three-year Lake Michigan wind study began Saturday, April 27.

The buoy is transmitting to shore real-time wind data from a sophisticated “floating laser pulse technology” device on the 10-foot-by-19-foot bright yellow platform that sits in 210 feet of water. It is located about 10 miles northwest of the Muskegon Channel, according to MAREC Director Arn Boezaart.

The buoy will continue collecting wind speed and direction information at various heights above the lake surface through early December depending on weather conditions. The AXYS Technology buoy built in British Columbia, Canada, can withstand the winter storms and ice on Lake Michigan, but the sensitive measuring equipment could be destroyed if left on Lake Michigan through the winter, Boezaart said.

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