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Lake Erie Wind Farm Clears One Hurdle, Many Remain

[travellight / Shutterstock]
A stock image of a wind turbine

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.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, or LEEDCo, 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.

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

According to the board’s staff report, construction is slated to start in 2020 and wrap up in 2021.

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 Aug. 6.

Read the staff report below. Mobile users can read the report here.


Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.