LEEDCo set to build freshwater offshore wind farm in US

Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), a regional non-profit corporation involving public-private partnership in Ohio, US, is set to develop the first freshwater offshore wind project in the state.

The ‘Icebreaker’ project received $4m in funding from the US Department of Energy (DOE), for an advanced technology demonstration program to build five to nine wind turbines in Lake Erie.

LEEDCo’s private partners have additionally committed $1m investment for the project. Icebreaker is one of seven offshore wind power projects that received funding from DOE. The project, which is located seven miles northwest of Cleveland, will consist of nine turbines.

LEEDCo, together with a consortium of companies including Siemens, will submit the results of the project to the federal government.

DOE will evaluate the results of the seven advanced technology demonstration projects and select up to three projects, which will each receive an additional $46m over a four-year period.

In order to win the next round of funding, the LEEDCo team will have to address critical technical objectives, including evaluating and selecting the optimal turbine foundation design; review installation, operations and maintenance methodologies; research the challenges and solutions for icing conditions; assess the technical and financial feasibility of the overall project; complete the necessary permit applications; and secure power purchase agreements with potential customers, and address initial interconnectivity considerations.

LEEDCo president Dr Lorry Wagner said that in one year, the team of experts will provide the federal government with a strong plan to provide clean, affordable and reliable offshore wind power to the electric grid and Northeast Ohio customers.

“I am convinced that we are poised to become the first freshwater wind farm in North America, which will spawn a new wind power industry in Northeast Ohio,” Wagner added.