How are projects initially sited?
|The first step is to look at the Ohio Department of Natural Resource’s Turbine Placement Favorability Map to begin delineating areas attractive for offshore wind development. The map indicates areas in Lake Erie that the regulators at ODNR deem more or less suitable for installing wind turbines. Additional information can be found at: http://www.ohiodnr.com/LakeErie/WindEnergyRules/tabid/21234/Default.aspx#Summary|
Once a potential site has been selected, and has gotten some degree of favorable feedback from ODNR, more detailed efforts (such as geo-technical engineering) can begin to ensure that the placement of turbines will be acceptable.
Have shipwrecks been taken into account when siting the initial project?
|Yes. Ohio’s Turbine Favorability Placement Map uses shipwrecks as a weighting factor for considering siting limitations. Beyond this initial indicator, lake bed surveys are completed in advance before construction commences. Such considerations will continue for subsequent projects.
How many turbines will be installed in Lake Erie?
|It is highly improbable even 20% of the Lake will be utilized for wind energy. Despite an analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicating there is 46,000 MW of potential in Lake Erie, this is only a theoretical maximum potentia. Also, as turbine sizes increase, fewer turbines need to be installed to achieved desired generation capacity.|
What is the depth of the initial site?
|The initial project is located where water depth is approximately 60 feet, which happens to be roughly the average depth of Lake Erie.|
What are the various permits that must be acquired in the siting process?
|A Submerged Land Lease, contracted from Ohio Department of Natural Resources.|
What parts of Lake Erie will be considered for deployment?
|LEEDCo can only speak to its member counties: Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Lorain, and Lake. LEEDCo has not yet begun identifying sites for subsequent projects. However, it anticipates focusing its efforts on sites that are deemed most favorable by ODNR.|
The Western Basin of Lake Erie has more limitations against wind farm development (e.g., avian issues, fish habitat, sport fishery efforts) and is not an area of consideration at present by LEEDCo (or, to LEEDCo’s knowledge, other parties).
What is the minimum distance from shore turbines will be placed?
|Beyond aesthetics, locating turbines further offshore make sense due to increased wind speed and hence greater productivity/yield from the turbines. LEEDCo’s first project is about 7 miles offshore and anticipates other projects to be further offshore, not close.
What is the regulatory process for siting offshore wind?
|In order to gain site control for a project area in Lake Erie, it is necessary to acquire a Submerged Land Lease via the ODNR in conjunction with the Ohio Power Siting Board – a part of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. LEEDCo currently holds an Option to Lease Submerged Land from the State of Ohio, however this is only a preliminary step to the required final lease. For an extensive list of siting factors the PUCO has made this document available.
Does the Ohio Historical Society hold Lake Erie in the public trusts and evaluate who has the right to use the lake for commercial development?
|The role of OHS is to make sure the cultural heritage of any Great Lake state is protected according to the terms of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). LEEDCo and its partners are abiding by all provisions of NEPA, by fulfilling an Environmental Assessment including review by all relevant stakeholders, including OHS.