Icebreaker Stars in Lake Erie Environmental Research
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) and the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research (CIGLR) have entered an agreement to together conduct studies on the U.S. Icebreaker offshore wind project.
LEEDCo and CIGLR, part of the University of Michigan, will focus on research to monitor and understand large scale processes on Lake Erie, as well as on sharing scientific data and accessing offshore platforms.
The research is expected to benefit fish and ecosystems and protect and improve the health of Lake Erie, with the results helping the ecosystems across the Great Lakes.
“All of our Great Lakes are vital, immense resources for both people and wildlife. From day one, our mission has been to protect them and advance science to keep this region healthy for generations to come," said LEEDCo President Lorry Wagner.
"This data-sharing collaborative will give us the opportunity to work side by side with the research community to design the most advanced lake monitoring system in the Great Lakes.’’
The collaboration is said to allow CIGLR members to propose projects to conduct scientific analysis and research on Lake Erie in and around the offshore wind project site.
Due to its investment in offshore infrastructure, LEEDCo said scientists can now deploy sensors and collect data year-round in the waters of Lake Erie, instead of having to remove sensors and buoys in the winter due to ice.
The Icebreaker offshore wind project will comprise six MHI Vestas turbines with a nameplate capacity rating of 3.45MW located some 10 miles offshore Cleveland.
It has been reviewed and approved by 14 local, state and federal agencies and is awaiting final approval from the Ohio Power Siting Board.
Construction could start by 2021, and once commissioned, the 20.7MW project will be the first fresh-water wind energy installation in North America