Ohio court backs project for Lake Erie turbines
An Ohio Supreme Court has affirmed the placement of wind turbines in Lake Erie as part of the Icebreaker wind project off the shores of Cleveland.
By a 6-1 margin on Wednesday, the justices ruled the power siting board employed “a flexible standing in granting the requested certificate (that) poses no legal problem.” For now, that decision allows the first freshwater offshore wind-powered electric-generation facility in North America to move forward.
That plan includes a six-turbine wind-powered electric-generation facility on approximately 4.2 acres of submerged land in Lake Erie located between 8 and 10 miles off the shore of Cleveland that is expected to generate 20.7 megawatts of electricity. Supporters hope this small-scale demonstration project will provide information as to how offshore wind facilities interact with the environment and that will test the viability of large-scale wind facilities on Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes.
Those who have opposed the project argued there was insufficient evidence before the siting board for it to determine the nature of the probable environmental impact, specifically on dangers to birds and bats. In addition, they also argued the board’s decision to issue the certificate violated the public-trust doctrine and thus the project does not serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.