Energy / Renewable Energy / Wind Energy

Lake Erie offshore wind project vows extra bird, wildlife protections

The developer of the offshore wind demonstration will use bird-safe lighting and seasonal curtailment, among other methods

A simulated view of the proposed Icebreaker offshore wind project from Cleveland’s Edgewater Park Beach. Photo by LEEDCo

CLEVELAND — “A pact with environmental groups over wildlife protections and monitoring puts a Lake Erie offshore wind project one step closer to construction.

Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, or LEEDCo, hopes to build the six-turbine Icebreaker project about eight miles north of Cleveland.

A Sept. 4 regulatory filing spells out the developer’s commitments, including use of bird-safe lighting, seasonal curtailment, and other technology and methods, to minimize the project’s impact on birds, fish and other wildlife.

The agreement was signed by Sierra Club and Ohio Environmental Council, as well as labor and industry groups. It addresses many of the remaining barriers for the project, which still needs approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board.

As the Great Lakes’ first offshore wind project, Icebreaker will demonstrate the feasibility for harvesting wind energy from Lake Erie, while providing valuable information for future projects that might seek their own permits. For now, Nagusky and her colleagues are optimistic.”

— Kathiann M. Kowalski, Midwest Energy News

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