What is LEEDCo?
It's an acronym for “Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation,” a regional non-profit working to build an offshore wind power industry in Northeast Ohio to create jobs and heal the environment. LEEDCo was created by agreement in August 2009 among key members of the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force (GLEDTF): the Cleveland Foundation, NorTech, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County (Ohio), Lorain County (Ohio), Lake County (Ohio), and Ashtabula County (Ohio). Erie Count (Pennsylvania) also joined as a member in 2015.
LEEDCo is spearheading an effort to build and install an initial 20.7 megawatt (MW) demonstration project in Lake Erie known as "Icebreaker". With this initial project, LEEDCo and its partners aim to make Ohio a cornerstone of the American offshore wind industry to re-energize Northeast Ohio’s economy.
As a non-profit, public-private partnership, LEEDCo represents Northeast Ohio's best interest in the development of the Great Lakes' offshore wind industry.
Where will 'Icebreaker' be located?
What type of turbine will you use?
LEEDCo is targeting turbine models that optimize energy output for Lake Erie's IEC Class II wind regime. The turbines will likely be in the 3 - 4 MW range. LEEDCo is currently evaluating turbine makes and models. LEEDCo expects to make a final decision by the end of 2015.
What type of foundation will you use?
Icebreaker will use a 'monopile'-style foundation, the most widely used offshore wind turbine foundation in the North Sea. LEEDCo is currently completing the detailed engineering design to ensure that the foundation is uniquely suited to Lake Erie's ice, wave, wind, and soil conditions.
How will Icebreaker connect to the grid?
Cabling runs from each turbine to the next until they reach the turbine closest to shore. From there, cables will be buried together in trenches several feet deep on the lake bottom. As the cables approach shore, they will pass under the breakwater and combined disposal facility and connect at the Cleveland Public Power Lake Road Substation.
What is LEEDCo’s role and responsibility for offshore wind projects?
LEEDCo manages a world class team of international experts and local partners to design, permit, and build the first offshore wind project in the Great Lakes. LEEDCo works to garner public support for prudent development of offshore wind in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie. It aims to maximize the local content of the economic activity associated with offshore wind deployment.
How many homes will be powered by the initial project?
The initial 20.7 MW project would provide about 10% of the electricity needs for 60,000 homes.
Who will buy the power from this project?
Projects are financed by the sale of its electricity through a long-term Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Currently, LEEDCo has a Memorandum of Understanding with Cleveland Public Power for 25% of the power. LEEDCo is working to line up additional offtakers. LEEDCo's power sales strategy involves selling the power to the people and businesses who want to buy it. LEEDCo is working to partner with a retail electricity provider so that supporters of the project can elect to power their homes and businesses with the clean energy generated by the turbines.
How does offshore wind work?
Wind on Lake Erie blows stronger and more consistently than it does on land. That wind hits the blades and causes the blades to spin which in turn cause a permanent magnet to rotate around conducting wire. This creates an electric current that feeds in to the electricity grid at the CPP E. 55th Substation. When the wind blows, it reduces the need to use the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired power plants.
RenewableUK has a nice depiction and explanation here.
National Renewable Energy Laboratory FAQ
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American Wind Energy Association FAQ
Click here to visit the American Wind Energy Association in a new window.