Cleveland-based Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) gained a key permit in their quest to build North America’s first freshwater wind turbine farm.
In March, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted a construction permit to LEEDco to construct an offshore wind energy project proposed for installation eight miles off the coast of downtown Cleveland.
“The issuance of the permit represents a big step forward for this thoroughly reviewed project,” said LEEDco President Lorry Wagner. “It would put Cleveland on the international map as being a progressive leader in clean energy and it would lead to Ohio becoming a participant in the booming $50 billion U.S. offshore wind industry.
The approval of the construction permit is a significant development for the $126 million Icebreaker Wind project, which is looking to construct six wind turbines in Lake Erie.
The project has already earned approvals and/or permits from more than a dozen local, state and federal agencies responsible for protecting the environment.
“This project represents the first step toward realizing the substantial potential of making our region a national hub for wind energy,” Wagner said.
LEEDCo still needs state approval.
Construction could begin as soon as 2021, and will provide jobs to members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. A small number of journeymen from other trades will also be needed for this project.