Can the turbines outlast Lake Erie's conditions?
|The first project will utilize Siemens 3.0 MW Direct-Drive turbines. This will project will not be Siemens' first project in arctic conditions. A similar project in Finland installed a Siemens 2.3 MW turbine in the Baltic Sea which experiences icing conditions. Direct-drive technology also eliminates costly gearbox parts, which in-turn eliminates hundreds of gallons of gear oil and lowers operating costs. With half of the parts, the direct-drive technology provides a simple, reliable design with built-in redundancy for major components, all focused on keeping turbines operating reliably. |
How often do the turbines need maintenance?
Direct drive machines like the Siemens model being used for our project typically require maintenance once per year. These turbines are designed and maintained to endure colder climates for the duration of the season. In the unlikely event a turbine needs serviced, small vessels or tugs that are already rated for ice-breaking can be deployed. It is LEEDCo's understanding the Coast Guard charter mentioned their responsibility to send ice-breakers out for commercial purposes, including servicing of offshore wind turbines. The wind farms in Lake Erie will not routinely utilize helicopters for maintenance.
How are offshore wind projects connected to the grid?
|Cabling runs from each turbine via a distribution system to a centralized offshore station, and then subsequently via a larger cable to a substation on the regional power grid. All cables are buried in trenches on the lake bottom and covered, so that they won’t be damaged by boat anchors.
Once connected to the grid, who monitors power distribution into the grid?
|Transmission system operators (in our case, PJM) are responsible for managing the high-voltage power transmission grid into which power generation facilities such as our initial project are connected. Each utility company is responsible for managing the lower-voltage grid of distribution lines that carry the power from the high-voltage “backbone” system to each individual building.
What about safety considerations for maintenance crews?
|Safety is the number one consideration for LEEDCo and its development/implementation partners. We can take advantage of the fact that offshore wind turbines have been deployed for twenty years in Europe, and a strong body of safety practices has been developed from this experience.
Where will the project interconnect with the local power grid?
|The power will interconnect with the grid at one of two locations: Cleveland Public Power Lake Road or Cleveland Electric Illuminating (First Energy) Lakeshore Plant.
What equipment is needed to install the turbines?
|Barges, jack up vessels, cable-laying boats, tugs, transport vessels, etc...