WASHINGTON, D.C. - Federal funding up to $4 million has been secured to advance offshore wind development in Lake Erie.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown secured the funds to establish an offshore wind demonstration project on Lake Erie, the first project of its kind in the United States.
"These funds mean that we are one step closer to achieving our goal of making Lake Erie home to the first freshwater, offshore wind development in North America. By awarding this grant to Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, the U.S. Department of Energy is recognizing and rewarding this organization's extraordinary leadership in bringing offshore wind to Lake Erie. This award reaffirms Ohio's place as leader in renewable energy manufacturing and use," Brown said. "Offshore wind has the potential to bring thousands of new jobs to Ohio and the United States—and Lake Erie, with its shallow depth and excellent wind resources, is an ideal site to test offshore wind development. From the world’s first electric windmill designed by Charles Brush in Cleveland to what will be North America's first freshwater wind development, the legacy of innovation is alive and well in Northern Ohio."
The Lake Erie project is one of seven being funded. Once the engineering, site evaluation, and planning phase of all seven projects are completed, the DOE will choose up to three of the projects to advance the follow-on design, fabrication, and deployment phases to achieve commercial operation by 2017.
The selected projects will be eligible for up to $47 million over four years.
LEEDCo plans to install nine 3-megawatt direct-drive wind turbines on "ice breaker" monopile foundations designed to reduce ice loading. The project will generate electricity seven miles offshore in Lake Erie.
A team from Case Western Reserve University will complete the engineering and design phase.
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