LEEDCo's ‘Icebreaker,' the nation's first freshwater offshore wind project, begins year-long advanced technology demonstration program
CLEVELAND (February 15, 2013) – The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation
scientific and engineering solutions in the development of the first freshwater offshore wind
project in the nation.
LEEDCo's "Icebreaker" project is receiving $4 million in Department of Energy (DOE) funding
beginning February 15, 2013. The award runs through February 15, 2014, and will fund an
advanced technology demonstration program to build five to nine wind turbines seven miles off
the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie. Icebreaker is one of seven offshore wind power projects to
receive the federal funding, and the only one in the Great Lakes region. LEEDCo's private
partners have committed an additional $1 million in cost share for this portion of the project.
The Icebreaker team consists of approximately a dozen partner organizations from Northeast
Ohio, throughout the United States and Europe, where offshore wind is a $200 billion industry.
In addition to DOE, the other partners are Siemens, URS, Offshore Design Engineering Ltd.,
Freshwater Wind, Eranti Engineering, DNV KEMA, Bayer Material Science, Great Lakes Energy
Institute at Case Western Reserve University, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, COWI
(and its U.S. subsidiary Ocean Coastal Consultants), Project Management Consultants, and
McMahon DeGulis LLP. The group will submit the results of their work and the permitting
process to the federal government.
"We are very pleased to be able to assemble this team of experts with the experience and drive
to deliver on the potential for wind power on the Great Lakes," said LEEDCo President Dr. Lorry
Wagner. "In one year, we will provide the federal government with a strong plan to provide
clean, affordable and reliable offshore wind power to the electric grid and Northeast Ohio
customers. I am convinced that we are poised to become the first freshwater wind farm in North
America, which will spawn a new wind power industry in Northeast Ohio."
DOE will evaluate the results of the seven advanced technology demonstration projects, and
select up to three of those projects to each receive an additional $46 million in funding during a
To win the next round of funding, within the next year, the LEEDCo team will:
* Address critical technical objectives, including evaluating and selecting the optimal
turbine foundation design; reviewing installation, operations and maintenance
methodologies; researching the challenges and solutions for icing conditions; and
assessing the technical and financial feasibility of the overall project
* Complete the necessary permit applications
* Secure power purchase agreements with potential customers, and address initial
Team members from around the world gathered in Cleveland recently to kick-off the project,
discuss their approach and how they will collaborate on breakthrough technologies and
materials. Here are some of their initial plans:
"Think of Icebreaker in Lake Erie as the flagship of projects that could be installed in the Great
Lakes, which has enormous offshore wind potential," said Walt Musial, Manager, Offshore Wind
and Ocean Power Systems at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.
"We are all about innovation and high-tech materials, and this project is going to require that
type of innovation," said Kevin Elsken, Project Manager for Bayer MaterialScience LLC in
Pittsburgh. "The issues with corrosion and icing will require great coatings and raw materials,
and we think we can help design those materials."
Thomas Mousten, Head of Offshore Wind, Americas for Siemens Energy Inc., said Icebreaker
will give Siemens the opportunity to test new icing technologies that could be applied around the
world. "We are working on a de-icing mechanism for the blades. Ice on the blades can cause an
imbalance of the rotor, which would require the wind turbine to be shut down until ice is
removed. We are working on a way to heat up the blades to reduce the amount of down time
due to ice," Mousten said. Siemens is the number one offshore wind turbine manufacturer in the
world. With six U.S. locations including two factories and a Boston-based offshore wind team,
Siemens has signaled its strong commitment to the U.S. offshore wind industry.
Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is a regional non-profit corporation
leading efforts to create an offshore wind energy industry in Northeast Ohio. As a public-private
partnership, LEEDCo represents Northern Ohio's public interest in offshore wind and is working
to develop an initial 20-30 megawatt (MW) project in Lake Erie seven miles offshore Cleveland
with a 1,000 MW target by 2020. Founded in 2009, LEEDCo members include Ashtabula,
Cuyahoga, Lorain and Lake Counties, City of Cleveland, The Cleveland Foundation and
NorTech. | www.leedco.org