Ohio Court Approves Construction of Offshore Wind Farm

Silhouette of a fishing trawler with wind turbines in the background
Updated Published

The Icebreaker project in Lake Erie was given a state permit to build the first freshwater offshore wind farm in North America, according to a decision made by the Ohio Supreme Court.

The project wants to erect six wind turbines eight to ten miles off the Cleveland shore of Lake Erie. It would also produce 20.7 megawatts of power.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., also known as LEEDCo, which is in charge of the project's development, said in a statement not long after the Ohio Supreme Court's judgment was made that it now has more security to advertise the electricity to potential consumers.

“The court’s decision preserves the economic potential this project can unlock for the region,” said President and CEO of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority Will Friedman. “Other states are nipping at our heels to attract offshore wind and its economic benefits. We don’t want to squander this opportunity and let 15 years of work slip away to other states eager to capture market share.”

The port authority states that after more than a decade of unparalleled regulatory scrutiny, Icebreaker Wind has finally been given the go-ahead by over a dozen municipal, state, and federal organizations, as well as the state's highest court. In addition, the initiative overcame a number of challenges, many of which were posed by the fossil fuel industry.

“We’re pleased with today’s ruling from the Ohio Supreme Court,” said LEEDCo Board Chairman and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation Ronn Richard. “The Cleveland Foundation has supported Project Icebreaker from its inception because this is about more than clean energy – this is about a healthy economy and a healthy community.” 

"It also shows that we’re committed to improving health outcomes for Ohioans by cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink. It’s our hope that LEEDCo can now resume selling the remainder of the power and turn this dream into a reality,” added Richard.