Air Quality / Energy / Renewable Energy / Wind Energy

Icebreaker Lake Erie wind project praised, criticized at hearing before state board

Supporters of the wind farm held the majority of the nearly 200 people in attendance at a public hearing in Cleveland on July 16, 2018.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Lingering fears about the impact of a Lake Erie wind farm on birds and bats appears to be the only remaining hurdle to building the first-ever U.S. freshwater wind turbine project.

…Garry George, Renewable Energy Director for the National Audubon Society, cited a climate report that found only a major reduction in power plant emissions would prevent a severe impact on more than 300 species of birds. He gave preliminary support for the project under the condition it is properly sited and doesn’t have a fatal impact on birds in the Central Basin.

‘Transforming our energy sector to renewables not only saves birds but also benefits people in cleaner air, new jobs and new growing economies in wind and solar development areas,’ George testified. ‘Our concern is the potential impact of the Icebreaker project on water birds, especially the significant wintering population of red-breasted mergansers and the millions of birds that migrate twice a year at night over the lake.’

The Sierra Club and the Ohio Environmental Council have voiced similar sentiments.

‘For the sake of birds, the environment and nature’s beauty, wind and solar power are a vastly better choice than coal, oil and nuclear energy,’ the Sierra Club proclaims on its web site.”

— James F McCarty, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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