LEEDCo Signs Revenue Sharing Agreement in Offshore Wind Project With Four Counties (USA)


LEEDCo, the non-profit, private corporation spearheading the development of a Lake Erie wind farm, and its four-county members — Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lake and Lorain — today announced the signing of a revenue-sharing agreement that will give each county a percentage of income generated by the annual submerged land lease payment.

“This first-of-a-kind revenue-sharing agreement is historic,” said Dr. Lorry Wagner, LEEDCo President, who led the way for a consensus decision by the county stakeholders to split the revenue. “This agreement establishes LEEDCo as a national model of how the private sector and united government entities can work together to benefit the entire region and the state.”

The boundaries for each of the four counties extend into Lake Erie. According to Wagner, the revenue-sharing agreement will help foster a unified, regional approach to the development of the initial project – a five-turbine, 20 megawatt wind farm – and future offshore wind projects in Lake Erie.

“This effort requires collaboration by many entities and we want each of them to benefit from this project, not just one county or one city,” said Wagner. “This agreement will set an early precedent for cooperation among counties and result in shared benefits – first the revenue income and eventually a robust wind farm industry in Lake Erie resulting in new jobs in Ohio and exciting new manufacturing opportunities.”

Earlier this year, LEEDCo secured a submerged land lease option from the Ohio Department of Natural Resource (ODNR), the regulating authority of the Lake Erie waters. The option designates nine square miles off the shores of downtown Cleveland.

Once the submerged land lease is signed, LEEDCo will make annual payments to the State of Ohio, roughly totaling $11,000 per turbine, or $55,000.

The State will return half of the revenue to the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority who will keep 40%. The Port Authority is responsible for re-distributing the remaining 60% according to the revenue sharing formula evenly divided among Ashtabula, Lake and Lorain counties.

Ashtabula County Commissioner Daniel Claypool called the signing of the revenue-sharing agreement monumental. “This collaboration involved all the county governments in the area and that is a significant accomplishment,” Claypool said.

Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo agrees. He said: “The future of Lorain County and Northeast Ohio is tied to our ability to work together in innovative and productive ways. The revenue sharing agreement between Lorain, Cuyahoga, Lake and Ashtabula Counties, is a great example of true collaboration.”

Upon completion of a five-year period, LEEDCo’s Allocation Committee, which includes members from each county, will review the formula and determine future agreements. The agreement is only bound to the initial project scheduled for Cuyahoga County’s jurisdictional waters.

About LEEDCo

Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is a regional non-profit corporation leading efforts to deploy offshore wind projects in Ohio waters of Lake Erie. As a public-private partnership, LEEDCo represents Northern Ohio’s public interest in offshore wind, LEEDCo has assembled a world-class team to develop an initial 20-30 megawatt (MW) offshore pilot project in Lake Erie near Cleveland with a 1,000 MW target by 2020. Founded in 2009, LEEDCo members include The Cleveland Foundation, NorTech, the City of Cleveland and the Counties of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Lorain, and Lake.



Source: prnewswire, May 27, 2011