LAKEWOOD, Ohio – Lakewood City Council approved a resolution supporting the Icebreaker Wind project on April 17, and is urging the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) to approve the construction of a six-turbine wind farm seven miles from Lakewood’s shore.
Designed as a small demonstration wind farm, Icebreaker would be North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project. Its designers hope to prove that lake-based turbines can withstand Erie conditions, paving the way for full-scale development of the Great Lakes offshore wind industry. Spearheaded by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCO), a plan for an offshore wind farm has been in development since 2009.
The council’s move comes after Icebreaker Windpower Inc., the company formed by Fred Olsen Renewables USA to construct the plant, filed formal applications with the Siting Board in February. Icebreaker also has permit applications pending with the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and the U.S. Coast Guard.
If all applications are accepted, Icebreaker Windpower Inc. will begin construction on the pilot wind farm in the spring of 2018.
Noting that the sustainable energy initiative goes “right in line with our community values,” Councilman Tom Bullock also highlighted Icebreaker’s potential as a tourist attraction.
“If you are curious anywhere in the region about this project and you want to come see it, where are you going to come? Lakewood Solstice Steps,” said Councilman Bullock. “There’s an alignment of opportunity, aspiration and reality here as Cleveland does what we really should be doing all along, which is to find a clean sustainable high-tech form of energy manufacturing that will create good jobs on a sustainable basis.”
In passing the resolution, members of the Council also voiced support for the project’s environmental and economic implications, speculating that Icebreaker could decrease air pollution, improve water quality, hire workers from the local labor force and provide a projected $168 million in local economic impact.
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