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Environment


Disappointment for Lake Erie wind farm hopefuls
LEEDCo is mum on its plans, but Sen. Sherrod Brown says it may have lost its bid since it was the only freshwater proposal
Story by JOANNA RICHARDS


 
A key piece of LEEDCo's engineering plan was settled last fall
Courtesy of LEEDCo
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The nonprofit group spearheading a wind farm in Lake Erie has not commented since learning this week it will not get millions of dollars in federal funding. But one of Ohio’s U.S. senators says the problem may have been fresh water.For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN’s Joanna Richards reports.
Disappointment for Lake Erie wind farm hopefuls

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Three developers won $47 million each in Department of Energy funding to start building windmills offshore. Cleveland’s Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, known as LEEDCo, wasn’t one of them.

The group declined an interview today and had no comments on what it plans to do next.The winning entries are in New Jersey, Virginia and Oregon. The Energy Department didn’t say what they had that LEEDCo didn’t. But Sen. Sherrod Brown, who has advocated for the Lake Erie proposal, says building in freshwater poses a special challenge: ice. LEEDCo’s was the only freshwater proposal.

“I think it was just a caution from the Department of Energy that they’re not quite yet 100 percent sure that they want to invest big, big dollars in freshwater. They’re not really telling us why, but I assume that’s a big part of the reason.”

An Energy Department official says it wants to see LEEDCo complete its engineering plan, since it will help develop strategies to deal with ice. The feds are granting $3 million for that. Brown says he’ll help LEEDCo pursue other funding.
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