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Companies selected for Lake Erie offshore project

UNITED STATES: The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) has chosen a consortium to develop an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie.

The Great Lakes: primed for offshore development
The Great Lakes: primed for offshore development

The corporation has selected Great Lakes Ohio Wind (Glow) to develop and own a wind farm 5 to 10 miles offshore of Cleveland, Ohio.

The consortium comprises engineering and construction firm Bechtel Development Company, development and asset management company Cavallo Great Lakes Ohio Wind and developer Great Lakes Wind Energy.

The initial project will be a five-turbine, 20MW pilot wind farm, scheduled to begin construction in late 2012.

LEEDCo aims to generate 1,000MW of renewable power from the lake by 2020.

The corporation predicted that the 20MW project would be the first freshwater offshore wind farm in North America.

But several other companies and organisations are vying for that title. The New York Power Authority is considering five proposals for 120MW to 500MW of wind power on Lake Erie, Lake Ontario or both.  

And the 300MW Wolf Island Shoals offshore project, planned for the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, was the largest award under Ontario’s feed-in tariff this year.  

In May LEEDCo agreed a partnership with General Electric (GE) that will see the project use five of GE’s 4MW direct drive machines.

The machine, launched this year, features a 90-metre rotor diameter. GE plans to install a prototype in 2010.

LEEDCo is a non-profit corporation founded in 2009.

Its partners include the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Lorain County, charity the Cleveland Foundation and economic development non-profit NorTech.

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