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Off-shore wind in Ohio will take more than tax credits
But a $4 million federal commitment may break the ice

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
In The Region:

Correction: The estimate of the equivalent number of cars wind energy has taken off Ohio roads is 19,000. An earlier version of this story quoted an inflated number.

The extension of the wind energy tax credit that’s in the fiscal cliff bill will be big boon to northwest Ohio, but its impact on a Lake Erie project is more limited. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more.

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In the last two years, Ohio has opened nearly a dozen big-scale wind farms, most concentrated in northwest Ohio.

And Julian Boggs of Environment Ohio says the one-year extension of a tax credit for construction of wind project this year makes sense.

“It’s already powering the equivalent of 13 million homes in America and that’s just in Ohio actually, it’s the  equivalent of taking 19,000 cars off the roads so it’s making a big difference as far as reducing pollution, and I think that’s an investment that everyone supports.”

But Boggs acknowledges that one major wind project won’t see a big boost from the credits.

A wind farm that is to be planted off the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie is still in the testing stage and is pricier than the land-based farms.

“The biggest obstacle for the Lake Erie wind project remains the cost because it’s such a new thing, and it’s going to take a little bit more to get it going, and this tax credit won’t provide the financial assurance that that project needs.”

But he notes that the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation got a $4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy last month. The project is one of just seven in the U.S. to get the offshore grants, and the only one in the Great Lakes.

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