Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 6:58 PM
A Northeast Ohio group that wants to install the first offshore wind farm in the US received support this week from two political officials in Ohio. ideastream’s Michelle Kanu reports.
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation—or LEEDCo—is vying against seven other groups for a federal grant to install six turbines in Lake Erie. The group has been asking Northeast Ohio residents to vow to purchase a percentage of their electricity from the potential future wind farm.
At an event where LEEDCo representatives gave an update on the project, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson said that the city pledges to buy 25 percent of the power that the turbines generate.
“We own Cleveland Public Power,” Jackson says. “And so Cleveland Public Power distributes its electricity to its customers in Cleveland. So we would purchase up to five megawatts from this project.”
Jackson says the wind farm aligns with the city’s efforts to promote sustainability and could provide work for hundreds of Clevelanders.
U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur from Toledo was also at the event. She says she’ll buy electricity from the project for her household and she thinks it’s time Ohio tapped into a local resource for energy.
“We have an asset given to us by nature, and the question is, are we going to be clever enough to capture it, or are we going to let it just fly by us? Other places in the world know its potential.”
Kaptur says the wind industry is quickly developing in Europe and other countries that already have turbines offshore.
Last December, LEEDCo received 4 million dollars from the Department of Energy to complete the first steps of the project. In February, the group will find out whether they’re selected to receive an additional 47 million dollars.
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