Holland (Michigan) Chatting With Holland (Netherlands) On Wind Energy

HOLLAND — Grand Valley State University, in partnership with Michigan Sea Grant and the Michigan Energy Office, is hosting a public meeting on the benefits and challenges of offshore wind energy development, with a special focus on tourism.

The Dec. 5 meeting includes a video chat from people in the Netherlands who live and work near an offshore wind farm.

Representatives from the West Michigan tourism and government sectors, along with community members, can ask questions about how the Egmond aan Zee offshore wind farm has affected tourism in coastal communities in the Netherlands.

Dutch participants include a tourism program manager and a sustainability program manager. Paulus Heule, Honorary Dutch Consul for West Michigan, will provide opening remarks about the social and economic ties between West Michigan and the Netherlands and continued opportunities for cultural and scientific exchanges.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to noon in Room 102 of Grand Valley’s Meijer Campus in Holland.

Offshore wind energy projects generate low-pollution electricity in many countries in Europe, including the Netherlands, but there are none presently in North America.

“People here have no experience with the technology and are rightfully concerned about potential effects on tourism and coastal communities,” said Erik Nordman, principal investigator for West Michigan Wind Assessment at Grand Valley. “By connecting people in Michigan with those in the Netherlands, we hope to share knowledge and experiences about offshore wind energy.”

The event is free and open to the public but space is limited. RSVP at wind@gvsu.edu. For more information contact Erik Nordman at (616) 331-8705.

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