Great Lakes wind farm

By Chris Sleight15 September 2010

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) has selected a team of three companies to develop an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie. It will be the first offshore wind farm built on a fresh water lake in North America.

LEEDCo is a not for profit organisation owned by the state of Ohio, which was set up to develop wind energy projects on Lake Erie. The team it has selected for the project comprises contractor Bechtel, energy developer Cavallo Energy and a local specialist in offshore wind energy development, Great Lakes Wind Energy LLC.

The initial project will see a five-turbine 20 MW pilot plant set up on the Lake some 8 km to 16 km from the city of Cleveland. This is expected to start generating electricity by late 2012. LEEDCo says it could see the development expanded to as much as 1 GW of generating capacity by 2020.

LEEDCo president Dr Lorry Wagner said, "We want Northern Ohio to be the epicentre of a new freshwater offshore wind power industry with associated manufacturing, shipping and construction jobs."

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