North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project took a major step forward last Friday when the Ohio Power Siting Board re-commenced the review of its application and set the schedule for a second local public hearing on July 19, 2018 in Cleveland.
The Board had paused the entire process in late October 2017 to study the methodology for conducting a baseline radar survey (8 miles from shore) for comparison to post-construction results.
According to a recent release from Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo), however, there are several pieces of good news:
- In December 2017, Dr. Robert Diehl, one of the top avian radar experts in the world, issued a report identifying the best methodologies for conducting a radar survey from a large vessel moored 8 to 10 miles offshore;
- On March 12, 2018, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service notified the Ohio Department of Natural Resources that the project poses limited risk of adverse impact to birds and bats, and is not likely to adversely affect any threatened or endangered species; in that same letter the Service found that Icebreaker’s proposal to use a large vessel as the radar platform had “the potential to contribute meaningfully to migratory bird and bat exposure data for the project.”
- The U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Army Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard are on track to issue the Final Environmental Assessment and finding in June.
These milestones further establish that our small demonstration project poses minimal risk to wildlife and the environment.
As shown by the overwhelming turnout in support of Icebreaker Wind at the public hearing in November 2017, LEEDCO says it is clear that the project’s support runs wide and deep, and comes from the business, labor, and environmental communities as well as residents and local and county government entities. Moreover, a recent statewide poll showed that 70% of Ohio people support offshore wind.
Filed Under: News, Offshore wind, Policy, Projects