Ohio Court Green Lights Great Lakes First Wind Project

August 11, 2022

Let’s unlock a gigantic potential resource.


The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a state permit to construct the first freshwater, offshore wind turbine facility in North America was appropriately granted for the Icebreaker project in Lake Erie.

The Icebreaker project proposes to build six turbines eight to 10 miles off the Lake Erie coast, near Cleveland. The demonstration project would generate 20.7 megawatts of electricity, with a potential to expand if successful.

At issue before the court was whether the Ohio Power Siting Board followed the law in granting the permit.

Ohio Justice Jennifer Brunner wrote the majority opinion. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Patrick F. Fischer, R. Patrick DeWine, Michael P. Donnelly and Melody Stewart joined her opinion.

Justice Sharon Kennedy dissented.

Brunner, a Democrat, and Kennedy, a Republican, are running for Ohio Supreme Court chief justice in this November’s election. O’Connor is retiring due to age limits in the judiciary.

With the Ohio Supreme Court approval, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., which is called LEEDCo and is developing the project, has additional security to market the power to potential customers, the company said in a statement Wednesday, shortly after the Supreme Court decision was released.

A third of the power is under contract with the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. LEEDCo can now focus on marketing the remaining two-thirds.

There isn’t yet a date for when construction will start, as LEEDCo was waiting on the court, said Will Friedman, president and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.


5 Responses to “Ohio Court Green Lights Great Lakes First Wind Project”

  1. redskylite Says:

    And when the project starts – MIT have found a method of squeezing a little more power from wind farms, at no extra cost.

    “If that 1.2 percent energy increase were applied to all the world’s existing wind farms, it would be the equivalent of adding more than 3,600 new wind turbines, or enough to power about 3 million homes, and a total gain to power producers of almost a billion dollars per year, the researchers say. And all of this for essentially no cost.”


  2. John Oneill Says:

    Chris Keefer claims that peak power demand in Ontario, on the other side of Lake Erie, usually involves very high summer temperatures, and no wind. Wind power in Ontario atm is at just over 4% of its capacity, and has been between that and less than one percent all day. Wind in the New York grid is a little little better , at 8%; in the PJM grid, which runs from Ohio all the way down to North Carolina and across to Delaware, it’s at 7.5%, though that’s probably not from lake breezes in the Ohio area. Nuclear in the three areas (Ontario, New York, and PJM) is running respectively at 60, 93, and 94% of full power, and doing a far better job than wind of displacing gas and coal. (Keefer is a Toronto emergency ward doctor, who observed the improvement in his patient’s health after nuclear displaced coal completely from the grid there, and set up Doctors for Nuclear Energy.) https://app.electricitymaps.com/zone/CA-ON
    John O’Neill

  3. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    FWIW, I think it may be less about which lake has the best windflow than the fact that Lake Erie is by far the shallowest of the Great Lakes, increasing the cost-effectiveness of the installation.

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