Germany's Juwi International is to be the lead contractor for a feasibility study of an offshore wind demonstration project in the waters of Lake Erie, off Cleveland, Ohio. The contract, to be finalised this month, is to include site assessment and meteorological studies for a possible 20 MW. The plan hinges on a partnership with the nearby Case Western Reserve University for a wind energy research centre. Ohio's Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is based, is the force behind the contract and has worked on several fronts to bring modern energy business to the area. "The city of Cleveland wants to have a row of turbines that can be seen from the shore to create a visual icon for the city," says Juwi's Barbi Driedger, who says the project would complement the research centre and attract component suppliers to the area; turbine manufacturers could even test offshore machines in lake Erie. Cuyahoga County's interest in wind power began years ago when Hope Taft, wife of then Ohio governor Bob Taft, visited a Juwi wind project in Germany, even climbing a tower. Juwi has developed about 400 MW of wind at home.