United States

United States

Icebreaker freshwater project thrown a lifeline over night-time shutdown

US wind project granted a stay of execution following “valid objections” to a shutdown decision that could have made the Lake Erie wind project financially unfeasible

A simulation of how Icebreaker's six turbines will look from the shore of Lake Erie (pic credit: LeedCo)
A simulation of how Icebreaker's six turbines will look from the shore of Lake Erie (pic credit: LeedCo)

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Regulators are due to vote on whether to throw out measures that would have made the US’ first freshwater wind farm economically unviable.

The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) will decide whether to order the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LeedCo) to stop operations of its planned 20.7MW Icebreaker Icebreaker (20.7MW) Offshoreoff Cleveland, Ohio, USA, North America Click to see full details project overnight between 1 March and 1 November until the developer can provide data showing that there were no adverse impacts on birds and bats.

LeedCo president David Karpinski had warned that this operation condition “may well be fatal to the entire project”, and is now anxious for the OPSB to vote on it.

The regulator attached the condition – and 32 others – in its approval of the Icebreaker project in May.

It has now backed an amendment to remove this condition, but is yet to vote on the revised ruling.

The Icebreaker project has also been opposed by bird advocacy groups, including the Black Swamp Bird Observatory and the American Bird Conservancy.

Separate lawsuits opposing the project had also come from Murray Energy, the country’s largest private coal company, before it went bankrupt last year.

LeedCo aims to start construction in summer 2022, before beginning commercial operation by the end of 2022.

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