Offshore Wind For The “Buckeye” State

The current population of the “Buckeye State,” Ohio is estimated to be 11.73 million people. In January 2019, state utilities used coal (48.1%), natural gas (35.9%), nuclear (12.8%) and renewable energy (3.2%) to generate electricity. Wind is the primary sources of renewable energy in Ohio.

Concerns over global warming and climate change have prompted Ohio legislators to begin the move from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Ohio law now mandates a renewable energy portfolio standard that requires that 12.5% of electricity sold by utilities be generated from renewable energy sources by 2027.

Europe has been developing major offshore wind projects for over a decade. The first offshore wind farm in the United States commenced operation in December 2016 off the coast of Rhode Island. Construction has begun on America’s second offshore wind farm off the coast of Virginia. Ohio is moving forward with “Icebreaker Wind” an offshore wind farm in Lake Erie.

Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is leading the development of the Icebreaker Wind project. The company is a non-profit, economic development organization that is headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. LEEDCO is dedicated to developing offshore wind in the Great Lakes Region.

Icebreaker Wind project will consist of six MHI Vestas V126-3.45 wind turbines, which will have a total capacity of 20.7 MW. The offshore wind farm will be located approximately 8 miles off the coast of Cleveland, Ohio. LEEDCO estimates the Icebreaker Wind project will cost $126 million to complete. The offshore wind farm is now scheduled to commence operation in 2022.

The strong and consistent winds that blow across the Great Lakes has enormous, renewable energy potential. The success of Icebreaker Wind could result in offshore wind energy replacing fossil fuels as the primary source of power in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. Offshore wind is finally gaining momentum in the United States.

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