Offshore wind project in Lake Erie moves ahead

General Electric and a northern Ohio wind developer plan to build a 20-megawatt wind farm in Lake Erie offshore from Cleveland by late 2012.

General Electric and an Ohio-based wind developer plan to build an offshore wind farm in Lake Erie in late 2012, the companies said Monday.

Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) and GE said they have formed a partnership to build a 20-megawatt wind farm in Lake Erie using GE's direct-drive turbines, which are designed for offshore wind. The companies announced the deal at the American Wind Energy Association's annual conference in Dallas.

Coming to Lake Erie, Ohio? A demonstration offshore wind farm in Europe. GE

The 20-megawatt project, planned for outside Cleveland, Ohio, will use GE's 4-megawatt turbines, which feature a gearless, direct drive technology designed for reliability, particularly in offshore applications. After that first phase, the partnership envisions developing 1,000 megawatts of wind power in Ohio waters by 2020.

If successful, the wind farm would be the first offshore wind project in fresh waters in the U.S. The Cape Wind project off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., received federal regulatory approval in April and is now negotiating power purchase agreements , with a goal of operating in 2013.

The Great Lakes region has good wind and potential for substantial power production, according to GE and LEEDCo. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory said that Lake Erie is in a zone with highest rated wind.

"This partnership will not only advance offshore wind technologies, it will also advance Ohio's economy," Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said in a statement.

 

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