The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) announces that experienced wind turbine installation firm Fred. Olsen Windcarrier AS is joining the development team for Project Icebreaker, an offshore wind demonstration project in Lake Erie designed to establish Northeast Ohio as a key region for offshore wind development and expertise.
Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, based in Oslo, Norway, provides tailored services for the transport, installation, and maintenance of offshore wind farms. Their role on the “Icebreaker” project will be to help develop an installation strategy that leverages existing regional assets such as barges, port infrastructure, and local manufacturing companies. The strategy will also consider future offshore wind projects both in Lake Erie and throughout the Great Lakes.
“Offshore wind in Lake Erie is a tremendous economic and environmental opportunity, and the long-term market outlook for Northeast Ohio is very strong,” said Rolf Normann, chief executive officer of Fred. Olsen Windcarrier. “There is an abundant untapped renewable resource, a wealth of existing infrastructure, and a need for new sources of electricity generation as Ohio’s coal plants begin to retire. We see the Icebreaker project as the key to catalyzing this new industry for the region, and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
Fred. Olsen Windcarrier is a leading installer of offshore wind turbines; they own and operate two highly specialized jack-up installation vessels and have extensive experience installing some of the largest offshore wind turbines in Europe. The company plans to use the Cleveland-based demonstration project as a central part of its strategy to expand operations further into the United States. Earlier this year, Fred. Olsen Windcarrier was selected as the installation contractor for the Block Island wind farm in Rhode Island.
“Fred. Olsen Windcarrier is the gold standard when it comes to offshore wind installation, and we are proud to have them join our team,” said Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo. “Helping international offshore wind companies establish a presence in Northeast Ohio is one of the ways we can create local jobs as we build the industry here.”