Late fall and winter storms along Lake Erie’s eastern end and the seiches that come with them have pounded the shoreline for years, and now the owner of wind turbines in Hamburg is looking to keep the lake out.
Brookfield Renewable U.S. plans to construct a berm to protect its Steel Winds II facility from damage during storms.
The company is hoping the 2,050-foot long berm will keep lake water from splashing on shore near access roads to the turbines. The “erosion events” can impact the ability to access the facility, and can require the turbines to be stopped in order to remediate the problem, according to Mark Luciano, stakeholder relations manager for Brookfield Renewable.
The Steel Winds facility is about 2 miles north of the area along Route 5 where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers installed a 1,325-foot armor stone revetment in 2020 to protect Route 5 from Lake Erie wave action and spray.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation issued a permit to Steel Winds II for coastal erosion management. The berm will include interlocking armor stone about 2 feet in diameter. The berm is to be placed on shore at the top of a man-made hardened bluff in an area of fill created high above the Lake Erie shoreline.
There is no in-water construction proposed, and no adverse impacts to fish or wildlife are expected as a result of the project, according to the DEC.
The height of the berm will vary, but the company estimates it will be 6 feet to 8 feet tall.
The Steel Winds facility started in 2007 at the former Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, and expanded into Hamburg with Steel Winds II, which started generating electricity in 2012. The company recently replaced the original turbines to be more efficient and to boost the annual energy generated.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding