1,600 wind turbines for Lake Ontario – The “Saudi Arabia of Wind”

offshore_windLondon Free Press, John Miner
It’s been called the “Saudi Arabia of wind” — not an oil-soaked desert, but a breezy lake on Ontario’s American border. Now, an Ohio group is moving ahead with plans to harness Lake Erie’s strong gusts, in sharp contrast to neighbouring Ontario that slapped a moratorium on wind farms in all its Great Lakes amid a public backlash to the spectre of the highrise-sized turbines along its shorelines.

The Icebreaker, as it’s been dubbed, will be a small demonstration project with six wind turbines in Erie, about 10 kilometres northeast of Cleveland. It would be North America’s first freshwater wind farm, with construction starting in 2018. But the project’s backers have visions of wringing much more electrical power out of Erie, saying more than 1,000 industrial wind turbines could be built along the shore of Ohio, a small state without the huge land mass for giant wind farms found in places like Ontario, Texas and Iowa.

Together, all that juice would add up to nearly double the output of Ontario’s inland wind farms, most of which are located in Southwestern Ontario. “We are definitely going forward — all system are go,” said Dave Karpinski, vice-president of operations for a consortium behind the project, the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo). Read article

36 thoughts on “1,600 wind turbines for Lake Ontario – The “Saudi Arabia of Wind”

  1. R these people nuts.
    Great Lakes r our only fresh water
    Source and they want to do what?
    My god this place is going to a hell in a hand basket
    My grandmother said there would be a war over the water in the Great Lakes and I think she will be right
    These turbines r the biggest scam going

    • OWR has been following this situation since IWTs in Great Lakes began.
      There is more money to be made in off-shore IWTs than on-shore IWTs.

      IWTs in the western end of Lake Erie might not be possible due to the presence of unexploded WW 2 ordinance on the Lake bottom.

      John Miner has been looking into IWT issues for quite some time.

  2. Wind turbines work by taking energy from the circulating atmosphere by resisting the flow of air over the blades. Because of the way they rotate, this also changes how the atmosphere mixes. Research in other places (not Ontario) discovered that downwind the climate became just a touch hotter and drier as a result. It will be interesting to see what the cumulative effect of thousands of these things will be on the landscape, particularly on agriculture. I am sure of one thing, though, when effects are noticed, our ‘leaders’ in Queens Park will be the last to acknowledge it.

  3. ITC Lake Erie Connector has applied to the National Energy Board of Canada to install 2 underwater bi-directional cables to carry 1,000 MW of power under Lake Erie from Nanticoke, Ontario to: Pennsylvania, 12 other states and the District of Columbia (the PJM grid). Expected to be complete in 2017. Ohio is part of that grid so Ohio can get its clean energy from Ontario because Ontario has so much power, we’re paying the states to take it and selling it for billions of dollars loss, all thanks to our government. Ohio should wise up because if they put up costly wind turbines in the lake, electricity rates will rise sharply and the health of the people, lake ecosystem and bird flight paths would be put at risk.That mistake would affect all future generations on both sides of the lake.

    • This could be just phase one as another 1,000 MW has been mentioned if there are enough subscribers to add one or two more 500 MW cables.

      The only people who appear to be interested in what is taking place there are those living near this project area.Others fail to recognize how this affects them.

    • What you are telling people about vibrations doesn’t even register with a great many people. In the oceans, there is plenty of room for marine life to move away from vibrations but not in the Great Lakes.

      Watch the poll numbers below the LFP article with about 60% in favour of off-shore IWTs in the Great Lakes.

      • Today, Dec.1, 2015 the LFP poll on IWTs in the Great Lakes still running about 60% yes and 40% no.

      • The poll could be taken as a choice between having wind turbines installed off-shore in the lake as opposed to on-shore next to homes and farms.

        Another poorly-worded poll, no doubt ripe for spin by the wind industry.

      • unexploded ordinances.. the west end of Lake Erie..

        “What is Margaret Atwood on Pelee Island?”

      • “WIND FARMING”

        “U of T knows which way the wind blows”
        by Tammy Thorne

        How do you fight climate change while creating electricity for more than a million households?

        The answer is blowing in the wind. According to U of T geography professor and energy policy expert Danny Harvey, wind farms could make a significant contribution to our efforts to curb climate change.

        Harvey has been studying options to phase out the use of fossil fuels since 2001 and completed his PhD on climate modelling at U of T before he began teaching here in 1986. He will publish two books on the topic in the spring: Energy and the New Reality: Volume 1 and Energy and the New Reality: Volume 2: C-Free Energy (Earthscan, London, UK).
        “I wrote these books because I wanted to answer formyself the questions: Is there any way out of this dilemma? Can we get off fossil fuels and how?” he said. “These books are my own attempt to make an objective, critical and consistent examination of the different options.”

        Harvey concluded that wind farming is one of the key mitigation technologies in the energy sector when it comes to sustainable production and, he noted, we’ll never run out of it.

        He explained his motivation: “There is no scientific doubt that global warming is a serious problem that demands immediate and strong action and so I’ve moved more now into the area of, What the hell are we going to do about it?”
        The question remaining is where to build wind farms. Toronto Hydro recently proposed installing 60 turbines in Lake Ontario in an area roughly spanning Scarborough to Ajax.

        A wind farm the size proposed for Lake Ontario could generate up to 200 megawatts (MW). (One megawatt powers at least 250 to 500 homes.)

        Harvey thinks this proposal is a great idea but explained the limitations of the Lake Ontario site and why he thinks Lake Erie would be an even better prospect.

        “There are fairly good winds offshore in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario too, but Lake Ontario tends to be deeper so you can’t go too far offshore. It’s close to the city so the transmission costs will be minimal but you’re not going to be able to install thatmany,” he said. “Now, if you go offshore in Lake Erie you could install 1,000 turbines of 5MW capacity each on the Canadian side, in water no deeper than 25 metres and no closer than 10 kilometres to the shore and still leave lots of room for shipping.

        “When you go offshore you can put in bigger turbines, in part because it is very hard to move them by land,” he said.
        And, he noted, it doesn’t really cost that much. “Nuclear cost estimates are now settling in at around $4,000 to 6,000 per kilowatt of capacity while large scale offshore wind farms can be expected to cost about $2,000/kW. When other factors are taken into account, this translates into about the same or lower cost for electricity from wind but without the one million-year radioactive waste legacy of nuclear energy.”

        The impact wind farms could have inmitigating climate change could be enormous, Harvey said.

        “The key to getting us off fossil fuels — and we are facing a global ecological disaster if we don’t — is energy efficiency, absolutely first and foremost. This is followed by wind energy and solar energy and some very well thought out uses of biomass on the supply side,” he said.

        Posted Tuesday, September 15, 2009″

      • Perry’s Monument, Put-In-Bay, Lake Erie, Ohio, 107 meters tall and now has a fixed flashing red light of about 2.5 seconds.

        The monument is a good 30 k from the Ontario shoreline and visible at ground level.

        Imagine what hundreds of IWTs in the Great Lakes would be like at night.

        People need facts about this situation.

  4. There’s been a correction made to the information in this article which suggests it’s a done deal. I don’t have all of the information. Has anyone received this clarification?

  5. Barbara
    on 12/04/2015 at 16:57 said:



    ‘The Department of Justice Must Investigate ExxonMobil’

    Petition to U.S. Attorney General Lynch

    Signers include:
    Margaret Alt, Executive Director of Environment America


    Same organization supports LEEDCo in Ohio

    Hi Barb, the page is gone.
    On another note: If the common person would just think for one nanosecond about Michigan and the outlying states and Canadian Provinces that abut the Great Lakes, they just might realize that this is in fact, one of the largest, whopper large : ), places on thee planet of fresh water and of course lets not forget the most fertile soil for agriculture, between Michigans Thumb and the Ontario Province.
    Check out this recent article………
    and this…..

  6. Sorry, but I guess you can’t read that. Apparently, you have to have an online subscription to read it now.
    I get this newspaper and it kinda makes me mad that I do PAY for it and I can’t read it online anymore. Which means, no viewing of any comments, or the ability to comment either.
    Hitler would be so proud !

    A previous comment by me, minutes ago, is in moderation? Is this a new feature?

    • Ella,

      It might help if you download the Complaint that was filed in Canada last week and show people what’s taking place in Canada and compare this to the counterpart that’s taking place in the U.S.

      It’s getting to the point where anyone, including newspapers, can be intimidated. There have even been complaints about news-outlets allowing people to comment on articles they publish

      • Barb,
        I don’t hold a lot of credence into the Global Warming meme.
        I am a conservative, I believe we all need to use less.
        Just a hop, skip and jump away from me, there is a home that has a glutton of Christmas lights each year, and each year it gets bigger. I’m talking two acres of land lit to the max.
        I believe, this should be banned.
        I was asked by a sibling recently why I don’t leave my computer on when not in use, I said, BECAUSE IT’s a WASTE of electricity and it makes my bill LARGER.
        Now, mind you, I’ve learnt from my IT son, that electronics (that we use in this modern day) use very little power. Just because they do, does not mean I should squander that power.

        In our industrialized world, we can’t expect the poor to suffer while the elite rich use unsurpassed amounts of fossil fuels. Al Gore uses more fossil fuels in one day than I use in 6 months.
        I believe that the “rich” should use less, not more, just because they can afford it. We should all, ALL, be afforded the use of electricity, whether we are poor or rich.
        If fossil fuels are taken away from the poor, only the rich will have access to use them.
        So this paper, I take disagreement with.
        I do not believe 97% of Scientist agree.
        I do not believe the UN or the IPPC blah blah, has any human interest at heart.
        What I do believe is…. Jesus Christ is my Savior and I will continue to fight against IWT’s. Those profiting and the liars in the industry might gain on this earth, But..

        They will never run from God.

        Lets agree to disagree on this one. : )

      • The issue at hand is that if you disagree with the Climate Change “dogma” you can be prosecuted.

        Complex scientific issues are involved in climate science studies. In no way are all the scientific issues involved known or understood yet.

        Waste not want not is still as viable as it ever was.

  7. I may have slept through this, but last time I looked, there was still shipping on the Great Lakes. Would it be too much to ask if anyone has considered, if you pardon the choice of words, the impact on this of cluttering up the open lake with all these obstructions to navigation?

    • A lot of things have never been considered and shipping is only one of them- but then wind power is not about “things” or common sense -it’s about money (ours) period.

    • IWT red and white flashing lights in Canada and red, white and blue in the U.S. so you will know which country you are in on the Great Lakes!

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