U.S. Department of Energy to fund Lake Erie offshore wind farms
Lake Erie is among seven locations nationwide to receive new offshore wind investments from the U.S. Department of Energy.
The department recently announced $168 million for different projects to demonstrate technological development, reduce costs of wind energy, and ultimately add jobs.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., a public-private partnership, could receive up to $47 million to install nine 3-megawatt wind turbines seven miles off the coast of Cleveland, Ohio.
The goal is to achieve commercial operation by 2017.
An offshore wind industry could mirror the success of land-based wind energy, according to a report by economic services group Navigant Consortium that was commissioned for the department.
“Last year, land-based wind power represented 32 percent of all new electric capacity additions in the U.S.,” according to the department’s press release. And “nearly 70 percent of the equipment installed at those U.S. wind farms – including wind turbines and components like towers, blades, gears and generators – is now from domestic manufacturers.”
The report also recommended that appropriate policies guide offshore wind development.
“Significant technological advances are already unfolding within the offshore wind industry, but clearly additional policies could help to direct needed improvements to further reduce offshore wind costs and to stimulate needed infrastructure development,” it said.