The Ohio Power Siting Board has approved “Icebreaker,” a demonstration wind turbine project for Lake Erie with 33 stipulations. However, it avoided an important one – junk placed in and on Ohio’s greatest resource, Lake Erie.
Lake Erie has between 800 and 1,000 shipwrecks on its bottom. Ohio should avoid these six proposed “Icebreaker” turbines, which is likely to lead to over 1,500 ending up as “junk.” They will clutter the lake’s surface and bottom.
We all depend on energy for quality of life, and reliability is essential for electricity. It must be available when we need it and remain affordable.
Generating electricity and distributing it is complicated and creates all kinds of issues involving air and water quality impacts as well as climate issues, fish and wildlife concerns.
I oppose wind turbines on Lake Erie for several particularly good reasons:
• It is not cost effective and would have an extremely adverse economic impact on our region, costing three to four times more than land-based operations and significantly raising utility rates.
• They will have extreme potential quality impacts during installation, operation and maintenance. The potential economic impact from the loss of a scenic natural vista to tourism and real estate values could be staggering.
• Despite engineering claims, I do not believe these units can stand up to Lake Erie ice, which has been witnessed personally for nearly 70 years with family recall of nearly 200 years.
Rick Graham, Izaak Walton League of America, National Great Lakes committee chair, Monroeville
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