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Board Votes on Lake Erie Wind Turbine Project, Removes "Poison Pill" Ruling

Project layout of Icebreaker Wind Farm

There’s renewed hope for an off-shore wind project on Lake Erie.

The Ohio Power Siting Board voted Thursday to remove a provision that would have made the Icebreaker wind project financially unfeasible. The requirement, known as ‘feathering’, would have required the turbines to stop spinning every night between March and November to reduce risk to migrating birds and bats.

A headshot of Sam Randazzo
Credit PUCO / WKSU
Sam Randazzo, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio

Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) chairman Sam Randazzo, who also heads the siting board, says a new permit will be submitted that doesn’t include the provision backers called a poison pill. “If everything works out as people hope it's going to work out who are supporting this project, something different than the feathering requirement would be in place once the turbines go into construction.”

Randazzo said the language involving the original feathering requirement in the permit approved in May would have been inserted by an administrative law judge but did not specifically name who that was.

Icebreaker is a six-turbine, 20 megawatt, demonstration project which will be located 8 miles off the shore of Cleveland. It’s been in the planning for more than a decade and has the backing of the US Department of Energy. 

Correction:  This article originally incorrectly stated that the Chairman of the PUCO could not explain who inserted the feathering language into the permit application.

Jeff is your average chemist turned radio host and reporter. He currently hosts middays on WKSU and has reported extensively on science, politics, business, and the environment.