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Offshore Wind Lands on Lake Erie

By 2019, a multi-million dollar project developed by a former "big energy" guy might make Cleveland the new U.S. leader in renewable energy.
November 17, 2017, 1pm PST | Katharine Jose
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[Updated 11/18/2017] In a piece for Next City that is half profile of Lorry Wagner, president of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (who "doesn't fit the mold of your average renewables startup dude"), and half exploration of wind energy in the Great Lakes Region, Daniel J. McGraw reports that Cleveland may be a more obvious place to invest $120 million in offshore wind energy than many people think.

The reasons, as articulated by various sources quoted in the article, include relatively shallow water, the "general absence of extreme meteorological ocean events," and big transmission lines that are already right next to the shore because that's where most of the coal-fired plants were built. 

Most of the money for the project, is coming from a new subsidiary of a European company, with some from the federal Department of Energy and some from the Cleveland Foundation. The city of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and the state energy company have agreed to buy a significant portion of what the turbines produce. 
Until now, offshore wind energy in the United States (to the extent it exists at all) has been developed primarily for the Atlantic Coast, but Wagner tells NextCity that's changing: 

"[A]lmost everybody who we bring to Cleveland to learn about our project, and they see Lake Erie for the first time, they say, ‘Holy crap, that’s an ocean out there.’” 

The project, which will be built and run by Icebreaker Windpower (named for "its six 3.45-megawatt wind turbine foundations that have the ability to break the ice during the winter"), is scheduled to begin producing electricity in the fall of 2019.

[Updated with the correct cost of the investment.] 
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Published on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 in Next City
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