A small wind farm “demonstration project” in the planning stages, to be located on Lake Erie, eight to 10 miles northwest of Cleveland, Ohio, may be a sign of what the future holds for thousands of acres of Lake Erie waters. With more than 18,000 dues-paying members in Ohio, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) urges recreational boaters to have their voices heard on the Icebreaker Wind project by the state’s utility regulator, Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO).
Those on different sides of the issue recently weighed in at a public hearing held November 8 in Cleveland City Council Chamber. The six-turbine, 20.7 megawatt demonstration project is North America’s first freshwater offshore wind project, which includes a plan to build more than 1,000 wind turbines on the lake.
“We have BoatUS members who see the growth of wind farms as a positive fishing benefit, while others have valid safety concerns,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Manager David Kennedy. “Regardless, boaters have a right to use these waters, so we’ll need a pragmatic solution to managing these shared resources. No matter which side you are on, Ohio wants to hear your comments, and we urge you to do so,” added Kennedy.
To provide comments to PUCO, recreational boaters can go to the Ohio Public Utilities Commission website at opsb.ohio.gov/Contact-Us and fill in the form. On the form “company name” field, enter: “Icebreaker Wind Project Case no. 16-1871-EL-BGN Icebreaker Windpower.”