Lake Erie Offshore Wind Energy Project Moves Forward

Lake Erie Offshore Wind Energy Project Moves Forward

The U.S. Department of Energy has published a final Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Lake Erie offshore wind energy project known as Icebreaker Wind. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Coast Guard were cooperating agencies in the preparation of the final EA. Based on the analysis presented in the final EA, the DOE issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the proposed project and an environmental impact statement will not be prepared.

Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation’s (LEEDCo’s) Project Icebreaker (also known as Icebreaker Wind) was competitively selected for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) financial assistance award under Funding Opportunity Announcement U.S. Offshore Wind: Advanced Technology Demonstration Projects (Number DE-FOA-0000410). DOE is proposing to provide funding to LEEDCo to support the development of the demonstration-scale offshore wind project in Lake Erie. The recently finalized Environmental Assessment (EA) evaluates the potential environmental impacts of providing funding to LEEDCo to support the development of the offshore wind advanced technology demonstration project (the Proposed Action) and evaluates the impacts that could occur if DOE did not provide funding (No-Action Alternative).

For the Icebreaker Project, developers will site 6 wind turbines approximately 8 miles north of Cleveland, Ohio in Lake Erie. Each turbine is up to 300 feet tall, with three blades that are each 176 feet in length. The project is expected to generate about 20 megawatts of electricity when completed. Electricity would be carried to shore via buried cable on the bottom of Lake Erie to the Cleveland Public Power substation on North Marginal Road. Construction is currently planned for Summer 2020 with the facility becoming operational in November 2020.

Bird conservation groups continue to voice their concerns about impacts of this project, and the potential of future larger scale projects on the Great Lakes, on migratory animals including birds, bats, and insects.

November 13, 2018