Icebreaker Windpower Meets Federal Clean Water Standards: Ohio EPA

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The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a Section 401 water quality certificate of approval to Icebreaker Windpower Inc., confirming that the proposed offshore wind project complies with federal standards relating to water pollution, the developer says.

The Ohio EPA has been delegated the authority to administer and enforce the federal
Clean Water Act. It issues water quality certificates when it finds that a project will not impair water quality within the state, explains Icebreaker Windpower, a partnership between the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) and Fred. Olsen Renewables.

Icebreaker Windpower has proposed to construct six wind turbines located approximately 8-10 miles offshore Cleveland. Each turbine would have a nameplate capacity rating of 3.45 MW, resulting in a combined generating capacity of 20.7 MW. The project would include an approximately 12-mile-long, submerged electric transmission line to transmit the electricity generated by the turbines to Cleveland Public Power’s onshore Lake Road substation.

“This is another important step forward for Icebreaker,” says Beth Nagusky, director of sustainable development for LEEDco. “This project continues to be rigorously and thoroughly vetted by numerous state and federal agencies that examine the impacts and benefits of Icebreaker. The Ohio EPA water quality certificate means that Icebreaker will meet federal clean water standards as long as the recommended safeguards are followed during construction and operation.”

The Icebreaker project must earn approvals and/or permits from 14 local, state and federal agencies. Earlier this month, the project earned conditional approval from the staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board.

“Our approach has been and will continue to be methodical,” Nagusky adds. “This project represents the kind of innovation that will help earn Greater Cleveland and all of Ohio an international reputation for taking action toward clean energy and reducing the risk of climate change. This project represents the first step toward realizing the substantial potential of making our region a national hub for wind energy.”

LEEDCo is continuing to work toward gaining the remaining approvals. Icebreaker would be the first freshwater wind energy installation in North America. Construction could start by 2021, the developer estimates.

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