Turbine tourism: Bus tours of a wind-energy park are a big hit

Published by Grist. View original article.

Michigan now has nearly 900 wind turbines, and that lit a lightbulb in the entrepreneurial mind of retired teacher Gene Jorissen. Last summer, he started leading hour-long bus tours of the turbine-dotted Lakes Winds Energy Park in the western part of the state. From Livingston Daily:

ImageThe bus stops 1,000 feet from a turbine, and passengers get out. “People want to know, how noisy are they? So, we sit and listen. We talk about various concerns people have about them,” he said.

Then, the bus stops at his cousin’s house. The cousin has one of the turbines on his property. The cousin lets Jorissen bring his tourists right up to the turbine and stand under its massive 476-foot height to get a feel of just how big it is.

“You can walk around it. But you can’t climb it. You can touch it. But you can’t go inside,” Jorissen said.

This summer, buses were full, and there often were waiting lists, said Jorissen, who is continuing tours through Saturday.

Tours “have become a big hit,” added Dan Bishop, Consumers Energy spokesman. “Eco-tourism, right here in Michigan.”

We told you in April that some Lake Winds neighbors were suing to block construction of new wind turbines. It’s good to hear that others in the area appreciate these revolutionary devices — and are finding novel ways to make a buck off them.

3 thoughts on “Turbine tourism: Bus tours of a wind-energy park are a big hit

  1. Who’da thunk it?
    Don’t tell the crazies at the Waubra Foundation, they’ll think you’re making it up.

  2. Perhaps someone could make a buck by conducting tours of the homes of members of the Waubra Foundation, notable Climate Change deniers and people who are the beneficiaries of big coal, gas and oil. The tourists could tick off which addresses contained a combination of all three. After they’ve ticked off the addresses they could hear a summary of the statements made by the occupants. This is likely to get them seriously ticked off and so they could deliver a ceremonial ticking off to these egregious souls.

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