Industry News

Lake Erie Offshore Wind Project Gaining Momentum

According to John Funk, writing in The Plain Dealer (Cleveland), independent power producer Fred.Olsen Renewables will build a $120 million pilot wind farm in Lake Erie. Funk reports that the company will partner with the non-profit Lake Erie Energy Development Co., or LEEDCo. (the project owner) and purchase their assets in early 2016.

 

The planned project is a six-turbine pilot between eight and ten miles northwest of Cleveland. As a pilot, it is only expected to generate about 20 megawatts of electricity at peak output, but David Brunt, CEO of Fred.Olsen Renewables says that Lake Erie has the potential to generate about five gigawatts of electricity.

Funk reports that Fred.Olsen plans to “rely on U.S. manufacturers and local labor to build this project and future projects in the Lake. The construction of the pilot project alone is expected to pump $80 million into the regional economy.”

Lorry Wagner, LEEDCo president told The Plain Dealer that the project is in-line to receive up to $40 million from the U.S. Department of Energy next summer, because some of the ocean-based projects originally designated for the big federal grants are failing for one reason or another and won't get them. Wagner added that the price of the power generated by the project will remain above market prices for up to 15 years, after which it is expected to fall below market prices.

Meanwhile, the project has yet to obtain all the required state and federal permits.

The pilot is expected to generate electricity by 2018.

To read the entire article, click here.

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