The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) began a comprehensive geotechnical investigation of the soils under Lake Erie today where the group plans to install six mono-bucket foundations for the planned Icebreaker offshore wind project, located off the coast of Cleveland.
According to LEEDCo, the scope of work includes soil testing and sample collection at each of the six locations – the same type of tests that are done for constructing structures on land. The geotechnical investigation is part of the award that the U.S. Department of Energy gave to LEEDCo in 2014, and it builds on the early-stage geotechnical work completed in 2013 at the site.
LEEDCo assembled a seasoned team to perform this critical work, leveraging existing infrastructure in the region combined with the specialized expertise not yet available in the Great Lakes.
For example, Erie, Pa.-based Donjon provided a large crane barge, the Farrell 256. Donjon also provided support from its shipyard as the team prepared the barge and other equipment for the work. Gardline Geosurvey, a U.K.-based firm that recently completed similar work for the Maryland offshore wind project, also contributed. Lastly, Utah-based DOSECC Exploration Services, which conducted the geotechnical survey for the Block Island Wind Farm project, will perform the soil tests and collect the soil core samples.
The Holiday, a vessel operated by Cleveland-based Trident Marine Corp., will transfer crew between the Port of Cleveland and the project site – seven miles from Cleveland – twice per day, as the work on board the Farrell 256 will be continuous, 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
‘We are excited to be moving one big step closer to our goal,’ notes Dr. Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo. ‘This is an important milestone and demonstrates tangible progress toward the first offshore wind project in the Great Lakes and in creating a new industry on the shores of Lake Erie to provide clean energy for our environment and jobs for our economy.’