LEEDCo Introduces The POWER Pledge to Engage Community in Promoting Offshore Wind Energy in Lake Erie
Members of the public are pledging to buy a portion of their electricity from offshore wind once Lake Erie's "Icebreaker" demonstration project is complete in 2017.
CLEVELAND (April 17, 2013) – The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is introducing The POWER Pledge at this weekend's EarthFest 2013 celebration to give the Northeast Ohio community an opportunity to become directly involved in promoting offshore wind energy in the Great Lakes.
By taking The POWER Pledge, members of the public are pledging to buy a portion of their electricity from offshore wind once Lake Erie's "Icebreaker" demonstration project is complete in 2017. The pledge will help LEEDCo gauge community support and demonstrate a strong market in Northeast Ohio for local clean electricity generated on Lake Erie.
LEEDCo will use the pledges to encourage local electricity suppliers to make this premium source of electricity available to their customers, who will have the opportunity to be among the project's first customers.
"The POWER Pledge gives everyone in our region a way to advocate for our community's future. The pledge is in response to numerous inquiries we have received from people who want to get involved and show their support for the project," said LEEDCo President Dr. Lorry Wagner. "Offshore wind represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for our region. Icebreaker will not only become a significant source of clean electricity and good local jobs, it will become a symbol of our region's leadership."
Members of the public will have their first opportunity to take the pledge at Northeast Ohio's EarthFest 2013, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday April 21 at Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds in Berea. The focus of this year's EarthFest is "celebrating advanced and renewable energy." It is sponsored by the local Earth Day Coalition. People will also be able to sign up for the pledge on the LEEDCo website (www.leedco.org) and at various advanced energy events around the region.
"POWER" stands for "Promote Offshore Wind Energy." Specifically, the pledge states: "I want to Promote Offshore Wind Energy (POWER) by purchasing electricity from Icebreaker, America's first freshwater offshore wind project, located on Lake Erie. We can bring a new industry to the Great Lakes region that improves the environment, creates local jobs, and advances our nation's energy security. I pledge to buy a portion of my electricity from the Great Lakes' first offshore wind project."
LEEDCo is developing the five- to nine-turbine demonstration project called "Icebreaker" seven miles off the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie. Icebreaker would be the first freshwater offshore wind project in the nation.
The project has already received a critical round of investment from its private partners and the Department of Energy to fund the initial engineering design and permit application process. In May 2014, the Department of Energy will invest up to an additional $46 million in each of three offshore wind projects that it believes will catalyze the U.S. offshore wind energy industry.
"By taking The POWER Pledge, the people of Northeast Ohio have an opportunity to prove to the Department of Energy and other investors that Northeast Ohio is the perfect location to build the U.S. offshore wind industry," said Dave Karpinski, LEEDCo vice president of operations.
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