London 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