You might think that a small six turbine offshore wind farm in shallow, fresh water would be a piece of cake. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A small group of passionate visionaries have been working to turn a dream into reality since 2009. Recently at a ballroom in a Cleveland Holiday Inn, some nearly 300 invited company representatives showed up to offer their services to the project manager of Icebreaker Wind, slated for Lake Erie. Dr. Lorry Wagner, President of the Lake Erie Energy Development Co (LEEDCo) and the project lead, explained that Icebreaker is a Department of Energy funded demonstration project to better chart the permitting processes, marine logistics, and operations
involved, and will serve as a stepping stone to build an offshore wind industry in the Great Lakes, an ideal location for renewable energy given the region’s growing energy needs, historic air quality problems, and the availability of local manufacturing and other businesses to service this industry. The project is planned and financed and permitting is underway. Two-thirds of the wind farm’s power output has been purchased and the companies are looking for a buyer for the remaining one-third.
LEEDCo is looking for local companies to supply materials, engineering, construction, logistics and many other services before construction can begin in 2018. The 20.7-MW project has to contend with the fact that a lot of Atlantic or Gulf coast equipment cannot pass through the St. Lawrence Seaway into the Great Lakes.
suitable, he would consider how the available equipment might be modified to accommodate the project.