An offshore wind project in Lake Erie has made important progress following agreement with a state agency.
Lake Erie Energy Development Corp (LEEDCo) has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) regarding construction and operation of its Icebreaker Wind energy project.
Now that LEEDCo has reached an agreement with the OPSB, the next step is to seek a permit for the project. LEEDCo is optimistic that the permit will be issued later this year.
The six-turbine Icebreaker project, which would be the first freshwater offshore wind energy installation in North America, has already secured approval from 13 local, state and federal regulatory agencies on a host of environmental and other requirements.
LEEDCo president Dr Lorry Wagner said, “While there is more work to be done before we can formally proceed, this is a significant milestone.
“This new agreement details the extensive regulations that will govern the project and confirms the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' oversight role.”
The project previously secured approvals from agencies including the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, Department of Energy, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Aviation Administration and Department of State.
Icebreaker has been endorsed by a bi-partisan list of public officials in Ohio, organised labour, the Cleveland Foundation and environmental groups including the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund and Ohio Environmental Council.
Construction could begin as early as 2021 although Icebreaker must first receive the permit from the siting board to move forward with installation.