Icebreaker Offshore Wind Project takes next step

By: Elizabeth Barminski

Icebreaker Windpower Inc. is dedicated to bringing offshore wind energy to Lake Erie. Icebreaker Wind is a six turbine 20.7MW demonstration project funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy. Icebreaker is currently working on receiving about one dozen permits and approvals from state and federal agencies.  The Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) will issue the major state permit.  Pending issuance of its permits, Icebreaker Windpower will begin fabrication, construction, and installation in the Spring of 2019, to be completed by the Fall. The Network fully supports Icebreaker Wind and will be filing as an intervenor in the OSPB process – hoping to help move the US offshore wind industry forward.

Icebreaker Wind will produce approximately 79,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) per year on average with a capacity factor of 44 percent. The Project will use the innovative suction bucket, also known as a Mono Bucket (MB), as the support structure for the turbines, a technology that promises to reduce both costs and environmental impacts for the offshore wind industry. Icebreaker Wind has achieved several significant benchmarks: the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) $50.7 million award as an Advanced Technology Demonstration Project; the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) Completeness determination to Construct a Wind-Powered Electric Generation Facility; U.S. DOE issuance of its Draft Environmental Assessment finding no significant adverse impacts; receipt of a Submerged Lands Lease, FAA determination of no hazard, International Joint Commission approval, and section 408 permit. Icebreaker has filed its section 404 permit application with the Corps and will soon file its section 401 permit application with the Ohio EPA.

A primary mission of Icebreaker Wind is to provide significant economic benefit to the Great Lakes states by stimulating development of an offshore wind industry in the region. This first project will leverage the region’s strong legacy of heavy manufacturing, fabrication, engineering, and maritime activities by engaging, training, and hiring businesses from all tiers of the supply chain. This process will become the template to develop a domestic offshore wind supply chain in the Great Lakes states. By way of example, the tangible economic benefits to Northeast Ohio include $168 million in Gross Regional Product (GRP), 500 jobs during construction and $188,000 in local property tax/year.

The Icebreaker project will be a milestone for offshore wind in the U.S. – providing an example of an offshore windfarm capable of withstanding periods of cold weather and ice. “Icebreaker will open up a 700 gigawatt offshore wind resource in the Great Lakes and take advantage of the area’s rich manufacturing base.  This industry will add fuel diversity and grid reliability in a region that depends on coal and natural gas for over 80% of its electric supply.  It will also help clean the air in a locale that consistently receives an “F” for air quality,” said Lorry Wagner, President of Icebreaker Windpower Inc.

Interested groups and individuals can also participate in the OPSB process in a number of ways:

  • filing comments or a letter of support with the OPSB;
  • submitting a letter to the editor of the local paper;
  • using social media to support the project;
  • attending and speaking at a public hearing; and,
  • becoming an intervener in the case.

To submit comments in support of Icebreaker Wind with the OPSB by email, you may email:  contactOPSB@puc.state.oh.us with the subject line: case #: 16-1871-EL-BGN Icebreaker Windpower.  To submit comments in support in writing, you may send a letter to:  Ohio Power Siting Board, 180 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH  43215 and include case #: 16-1871-EL-BGN Icebreaker Windpower in the reference line.

For help with your comments, please visit our website at www.leedco.org and click on Be A Supporter (on the right side of the main page).  To receive notice of public hearing dates, you can be put on LEEDCo’s supporters list by contacting Courtney Lehmann at clehmann@leedco.org.

LEEDCo is dedicated to bringing offshore wind energy to Lake Erie in the near future. The Icebreaker project is moving forward, currently working on receiving approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). With approval from the OPSB, LEEDCo will begin fabrication, construction, and installation in the Spring of 2018 to be completed by the Fall. The Network encourages you to support the Icebreaker wind project – a positive step for U.S. offshore wind industry.

Interested groups and individuals can participate in the OPSB process in a number of ways:

  • by filing comments or a letter of support with the OPSB;
  • by submitting a letter to the editor of your local paper;
  • by using social media to support the project;
  • by attending and speaking at a public hearing; and,
  • by becoming an intervener in the case. 

To submit comments in support of Icebreaker Wind with the OPSB by email, you may email:  contactOPSB@puc.state.oh.us with the subject line: case #: 16-1871-EL-BGN Icebreaker Windpower.  To submit comments in support in writing, you may send a letter to:  Ohio Power Siting Board, 180 E. Broad Street, Columbus, OH  43215 and include case #: 16-1871-EL-BGN Icebreaker Windpower in the reference line.

For help with your comments, please visit our website at www.leedco.org and click on Be A Supporter (on the right side of the main page).  To receive notice of public hearing dates, you can be put on LEEDCo’s supporters list by contacting Courtney Lehmann at clehmann@leedco.org.

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