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Lake Erie Wind Farm Clears One Hurdle; More Remain

Lake Erie
One of the conditions will require LEEDCo to monitor how the farm will affect bat and bird populations.

Editor's Note:  The original healine incorrectly indicated the project had secured approval of the Ohio Power Siting Board itself.

A long-running project to build a wind farm in Lake Erie has won approval from the staff of a state board overseeing electric facilities.

TheLake Erie Energy Development Corporation has been working on a wind farm for the better part of a decade now. This week, staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board recommended the wind project get the board’s OK.

There are some conditions: LEEDCo will have to monitor how the wind farm affects populations of birds and bats, which could be killed if they collide with turbine blades.

The project has to run through a gauntlet of permits and approvals from the state and federal government. This is just one step.

Dave Karpinski with LEEDCo says construction could be happening around 2021.

“These permits are a big thing, and obviously until you have the permits you can’t make any commitments on construction. So once we have those permits in hand, then we’ll be able to really, seriously make some harder commitments,” he said.

A public hearing on the project is set for July 19 in the chambers of Cleveland City Council. A hearing before the power siting board is scheduled for August.