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Icebreaker Windpower comes to the Great Lakes

Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDC0) is in the process of establishing offshore turbines that can harness the wind energy of the Great Lakes. After years of alternative energy advocates calling for additional harnessing of the winds the blow across the lakes, it looks as if one company is finally answering the call. The public-private non-profit is setting up its initial turbines on Lake Erie, near Cleveland. This is the first time that offshore wind will be harnessed on the Great Lakes.

This particular wind project will be fully functional by the fall of 2020. Not only will Icebreaker Windpower generate clean energy, it will also be an economic boon for Cleveland, with the creation of 500 jobs in northeast Ohio. According to LEEDCo, the operation will have a $168 million local economic impact over the project’s 25 year life. This is being touted as the first freshwater, offshore wind project in North America. The six turbines will be located eight miles from Downtown Cleveland. Overall, 20.7 megawatts will have the capacity to power 7000 homes, to start.

A number of energy interests will be taking a close look at this project, as we could be looking at the future of energy projects in the Great Lakes region. As for wildlife implications, it seems as if the verdict is still out, whether or not these offshore turbines will be overly harmful to migrating bird populations and/or bat colonies. There is a big push to move to project forward, even without conducting sufficient studies. Many wind turbine advocates feel that the clean energy impact clearly outweighs any adverse wildlife consequences. Those sentiments might change, if and when the proliferation of offshore wind turbines takes hold.

Regardless, one thing is certain – Buffalo should be keeping a close eye on this clean energy initiative, to see what the future of our own Great Lake resources beholds.

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer |

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