“Groups fighting any industrialization of the Lakes … are requesting that federal funding for this expensive boondoggle, estimated to eventually run up to $125 million, or about $25 million for each turbine, be immediately truncated, and that a complete audit of existing monies granted be undertaken with fulsome reporting to taxpayers.”
“There is absolutely NOTHING ecologically friendly about an industrial wind turbine. It is designed for one thing: profits.”
The Icebreaker Windpower project, proposed by the Norway-based Fred. Olsen Renewables, would be the first proposed freshwater wind turbine project in the United States. The proposal, however, is running into serious opposition from ratepayer, taxpayer, and environmental groups.
As an offshore project (six turbines about seven miles off the shore of Cleveland Ohio), it should be compared to the $0.24/kWh cost debacle of Rhode Island’s Deepwater Wind project that is about to begin production.
No mater how much the American Wind Energy Association hypes, offshore wind adds a layer of cost to the already uneconomic onshore projects.
Al Isselhard of Great Lakes Wind Truth, who has worked for years to protect the Lakes from industrialization, recently offered the North American Platform Against Wind Power his current assessment of the Icebreaker proposal. “We have to assume that LEEDCo, now the Icebreaker Windpower project with Fred Olsen Renewables of Norway, was completely unprepared to undertake the project of six turbines.” He continued:
Ironically, even if they had done the proper homework, it still would not be and IS not, a viable project. Where is the update on this homework? Where are the deficiencies and omissions remediated? This project is the same project, and public attention needs to highlight the unbearable cost of a so called demonstration project. If I build an 8 x 10 shed, I need a permit. Where is the permit for the digging that is now taking place in Lake Erie?
Mysteriously, without permits in place, the US’s first freshwater wind turbine proposal has received another dollop of federal money: $40 million.
Groups fighting any industrialization of the Lakes such as Great Lakes Wind Truth and North American Platform Against Wind Power (NA-PAW ), are submitting letters to the DOE Colorado Office as quickly as possible. Some are requesting that federal funding for this expensive boondoggle, estimated to eventually run up to $125 million, or about $25 million for each turbine, be immediately truncated, and that a complete audit of existing monies granted be undertaken with fulsome reporting to taxpayers.
The proposed industrialization is being hyped as the beginning of a proliferation in the Lake of up to 1,700 turbines. US Representative Marci Kaptur refers in various media pieces to a “wind corridor” running “from Buffalo to Erie to Toledo and extending points west and east.” (One almost wishes this grotesque whole were on paper in order to cause an environmentalist revolt from lake to shining lake.)
Formerly known as LEEDCo project, Icebreaker comes under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB). Two years ago, the OPSB identified some 14 omissions, errors, and deficiencies in the Lake Erie application. We opponents of the project cannot locate any remission or correction of those deficiencies.
Some of the deficiencies for the LEEDCo project noted by the OPSB are:
Offshore wind has environmental issues that reflect its energy sprawl. There is also the issue of end-of-life decommissioning, as Kent Hawkins has discussed. Part II tomorrow will discuss a number of hazards from offshore turbines as proposed in this project.
Note: Comments are being solicited by the US Department of Energy regarding the newly minted Fred. Olsen Renewables Icebreaker/Windpower Project (formerly LEEDCo project, Icebreaker). Comments are due on or before October 21 and should be labelled File EA 2045, Attention Roak Parker ProjectIcebreaker@ee.doe.gov. Part II of this post by Ms. Lange is here.