Thursday, January 13, 2011

World's First Freshwater Wind Farm Slated For Lake Erie

Jan 7: In his last official act as governor, Ohio's outgoing Governor Ted Strickland signed an Option-to-Lease contract between the State of Ohio and the Lake Erie Energy Development Company (LEEDCo), a major step toward the construction of the world's first freshwater wind farm in Lake Erie.  The contract further positions Cleveland and the State of Ohio as a global leader in advanced energy industry job creation and in the production and distribution of renewable energy.
    The agreement between the State of Ohio, the Lake Erie Energy Development Company (LEEDCo), and Freshwater Wind I, LLC, was signed, on behalf of the State by, Governor Strickland, Attorney General Richard Cordray, and Ohio Department of Natural Resources Director Sean Logan. The legally binding contract gives LEEDCo and Freshwater Wind the exclusive right to pursue a submerged lands lease for a designated area in Ohio's portion of Lake Erie. If performance metrics are met within the timeline established in the contract, Ohio will be home to the first freshwater wind farm in the world.
    The area covered by the Option-to-Lease agreement consists of nine grid cells totaling approximately 5,706 acres and is located approximately six miles due north of the city of Lakewood (Lakewood Park area). Ohio's first option to lease Lake Erie submerged lands for production of wind generated electricity allows a pilot project to explore the potential of offshore wind in Lake Erie.  LEEDCo and Freshwater Wind expect to install five wind turbines at the proposed site beginning late 2012 in an initial project expected to produce approximately 20 megawatts of electric generating capacity. According to estimates by NorTech, the initial project is estimated to create and sustain more than 600 jobs.
    Access a release from Governor Strickland with more details (click here). Access the LEEDCo website for more information (click here). Access the Freshwater Wind, LLC website for more information (click here).

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