Fresh Water Wind Farm: Producing Clean Energy
The EcoWatch Journal reports that Ohio is on track to install the first fresh water wind farm in the U.S.
The above conceptual photo shows what three offshore wind turbines would look like from downtown Cleveland.
These wind turbines are the largest in General Electric's fleet; they are also gearless, direct-drive wind turbines that feature innovative, advanced loads controls and aero-elastically tailored blade technology.
If all goes as planned, there will be 5 such turbines in lake Erie by 2012; continuous development will see hundreds of these turbines off the shores of Northeast Ohio by 2020.
It was at the American Wind Energy Association's annual trade show in May, in Dallas, that Ohio's governor, Ted Strickland, announced the plans for the placement of 5 wind turbines in Lake Erie.
There are only 7 offshore wind projects underway in the U.S. according to AWEA's 2009 Annual Report. The Northeast Ohio project is the only one planned in the Great Lakes, a sign that the project may in fact be the first freshwater wind farm in the U.S.
This pilot project, which will produce the first operating offshore wind farm in the U.S., is made possible by the partnership between the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp (LEEDCo), a non-profit corporation in Cleveland, and General Electric.
Benefits of such a project include more green jobs for Ohioans as manufacturers kick into high hear to produce the component parts for the wind turbines. This might very well revive Ohio's economy.
GE and LEEDCo also aim to create a strategic plan to identify opportunities for cost reduction to make offshore wind energy in the Great Lakes economically viable.
Since GE and LEEDCo will work jointly on advocacy and public policy issues to increase support for offshore wind energy to accelerate the growth of offshore wind industry, in time, other states by the Great Lakes might be able to tap into the natural, renewable, sustainable wind energy.
For more information, visit LEEDCo.