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Cleveland Wind Energy Initiative Lands $4 Million Grant

Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 6:51 PM

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Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo. Photo by Bill Rice / ideastream

The Cleveland non-profit that's been trying to bring offshore wind energy to the region has landed a coveted grant to move the initiative forward. The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation -- or LEEDCo -- has captured one of seven wind project grants from the U.S. Department of Energy. ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

The $4 million grant will be used to design a wind farm to be installed seven miles off the shore of Lake Erie. Dubbed “Project Icebreaker,” the proposal calls for nine three-megawatt turbines anchored to the lakes floor. A team of engineers from private industry and Case Western Reserve University will spend the next year working out the engineering challenges of installing and maintaining the turbines. 

Lorry Wagner, president of LeedCo, considers the grant award is a major coup for the stalled wind project. 

Wagner: “We don’t know the exactly how many people applied for this but we’re under the impression that it was over 60. So to be one seven that made it to this round is quite an accomplishment.”

Those seven include four offshore wind proposals off the east coast, one off the west coast and one in the Gulf of Mexico. Of the seven project designs, three winners will be selected to each receive another $47 million in Department of Energy funding to actually build them. 

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