May 26, 2010 - Lake Erie to host first freshwater offshore wind farm in USA?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

General Electric announced this week that it has been selected to provide wind turbines for the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp wind project, which is expected to be the first freshwater wind farm in the United States. The Lake Erie project is under development off the shores of Cleveland, Ohio. GE will initially furnish five 4 MW turbines, which should start operations in 2012. Ultimately, the nonprofit development company wants up to 1,000 MW of installed capacity by 2020.

There's a fair bit of excitement about this project. It will be the first freshwater wind farm in the USA. However, Canada is ahead of us, with the Windstream Wolfe Island Shoals project in Lake Ontario. Windstream is farther along in the development process. Last month, it was awarded a contract by the Ontario Power Authority to buy the 300 MW project's output under a feed-in tariff program, with an initial price of 18.5 cents (CAD) per kWh.

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