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Economy and Business

Lake Erie wind project awarded federal grant
Dept. of Energy grant puts new life into project to build massive offshore wind turbines in Lake Erie

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
Offshore wind turnbines sprouting from the water could be a reality for Cleveland. LEEDCo, the company pushing the project, came one step closer to reaching its goal of installing 9 offshore units thanks to a $4 million DOE development grant. LEEDCo is one of seven projects competing for additional funding that would guarantee the installation of the turbines in 2-3 years.
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In The Region:

A plan to put wind turbines in Lake Erie got a major boost today from the U.S. Department of Energy. 

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, or LEEDCo, is one of seven offshore energy proposals in the U.S. to receive $4 million dollars each toward planning and engineering, and a chance to compete for future funding.

LEEDCo’s plan is to install 9 wind turbines seven miles offshore from Cleveland.  President Lorry Wagner says the federal money is not just a grant, it’s a cooperative agreement.  That means the Department of Energy sits on the management team and Wagner says "every step of the way they will be involved in engineering and financial decisions so that we really have another partner on the team that is obviously pretty talented.”

At the end of next year, the Department of Energy will evaluate all of the proposed offshore projects, including the Lake Erie plan, and award three of them additional funding to actually build the turbines.

If LEEDCo makes it to the final funding phase, construction of wind turbines on Lake Erie could begin in 2015.

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