Library from Ohio
Wissemann said future Great Lakes projects will look more like those shaping up along the Atlantic Coast: larger and more competitive on cost. Winter ice endemic to the Great Lakes is not an engineering challenge for turbines affixed to the seabed, and there’s no need to demonstrate any particular technology for freshwater projects to advance, he said. “I think you can go bigger, faster in the Great Lakes.”
Lake Erie is an abundant natural resource with 10,000 square miles of water, wind and wildlife.
During a virtual meeting that involved a level of discussion and debate unusual for the Power Siting Board, board members unanimously voted to rescind part of an order they issued last May that approved construction of the wind turbines only if the turbine blades didn’t move at night between March 1 and Nov. 1, on the grounds that they would harm bats and birds.
The Ohio Power Siting Board is preparing to rule that it will not revisit its decision to allow the construction of Icebreaker Wind, the nation’s first freshwater offshore wind farm, in Lake Erie, with restrictions that backers say would doom the project.
The seven-year clash over Icebreaker exemplifies the growing tension among environmentalists as they weigh the costs of clean energy. The rapid rollout of renewable power is shattering old alliances, pitting green groups against energy projects meant to address climate change – a top priority of other environmental organizations.
Vestas and developer EDP Renewables are investigating after the blade of a V150 4.2MW turbine at the 125MW Timber Road 4 project broke off. The project was commissioned earlier this year.
In a call-to-action to its membership, Black Swamp is sounding the alarm that removing the “feathering” clause from Icebreaker’s permit will essentially sign the death warrant for many thousands of birds. The grassroots group has urged its supporters to contact the OPSB and implore it to champion bird conservation and maintain the feathering requirement.
Mines in the Upper Midwest, like the Knight Hawk mine in southern Illinois, produce fuel that powers much of the region's electricity production. That could change as coal plants retire and new wind and solar facilities come online.
More than 30 state lawmakers on Wednesday urged the Ohio Power Siting Board to reconsider its approval of the Icebreaker wind-farm project 8 to 10 miles northwest of downtown Cleveland only on the condition that it not operate at night for 8 months of the year.
Four firms have submitted their proposals to transform Columbus’ electric supply into a 100% renewable market - but the city wants to keep a lid on them until after it selects a winner in about a week.
Massive construction cranes have taken over parts of southern Hardin County and northern Logan County. Once quiet, rural roads are now filled with trucks, some pulling long trailers with multiple axles that haul blades nearly 200 feet long, sections of towers and other parts for wind turbines. The trucks maneuver through narrow county and township roads on their way to concrete foundations already built in farm fields.
Stephanie Kromer, director of energy and environmental policy at the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, is using the coronavirus as a smokescreen to publicly rally for updating (read: weakening) the National Environmental Policy Act (“Refine regulatory landscape,” June 20).
Testimony before the OPSB revealed that LEEDCo had not identified this monitoring equipment technology. Testimony also revealed that in the 10 years the project was under development, LEEDCo never took actual radar data from the proposed site. In light of this, in July 2018 the OPSB staff initially proposed that the turbines not operate from dusk until dawn from March 1 through Jan. 1 until the monitoring technology was installed and working. In its final decision, the OPSB implemented its staff's original recommendation, although narrowed the restriction to eight months.
The developer of the US’ first freshwater wind farm in the Great Lakes has appealed against over-restrictive operating restrictions on the approval it received last month. After a long permitting journey to satisfy 14 federal, state and local agencies, the 20.7MW Icebreaker in Lake Erie was unanimously approved by the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) in May.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) has asked the board to reconsider its decision so that the plans to build and operate the six-turbine demonstration project eight miles off Cleveland’s shoreline can move forward.
[The Ohio Power Siting] board unexpectedly imposed restrictions. It said Icebreaker must conduct radar studies of bird and bat traffic over the proposed site before and after construction. And nighttime operation of the turbines must be suspended during the months-long migration periods, unless and until studies conclude that is unnecessary. Opponents, some of whom have filed lawsuits to halt Icebreaker, consider the restrictions a victory.
A condition added to the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB)’s approval of the project that turbines should be shut down overnight for most of the year “renders the project economically not viable”, said LEEDCo, which has spent years planning the six-turbine Icebreaker offshore wind farm in Lake Erie, Ohio.
However, the developers of the project were less than satisfied with one of the conditions of the approval by the OPSB. According to the order, Icebreaker Wind must completely feather its turbines (stopping them from rotating) during nighttime hours from March 1 through November 1 as an initial bird and bat risk mitigation measure.
The extension of the PTC provides a stark reminder of how an influential industry can manipulate the Washington favor factory and in doing so, turn what were supposed to be temporary subsidies into permanent ones worth billions of dollars per year – and even more remarkably, get those subsidies extended without ever getting the money appropriated by Congress.
Bird migration is underway on the southern shore of Lake Erie. At the Black Swamp Bird Observatory (BSBO), a road through a remnant of the once-vast Great Lakes coastal marsh is filling up with cars driven by birders, clutching binoculars and eager for an early glimpse of migratory birds. Robert Sink comes a few times a week from Findlay, Ohio, about an hour away, with his tripod and telephoto camera lens. He posts daily on a Facebook group for Ohio bird photographers. “When the season becomes warmer, I’ll be up here every other day or so,” he tells me.