Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) has announced that wind turbine installation firm Fred. Olsen Windcarrier AS is joining the development team for its Icebreaker project. The 18 MW offshore wind demonstration project is planned to be built in Lake Erie seven miles offshore Cleveland, Ohio.
Fred. Olsen Windcarrier, based in Oslo, Norway, provides services for the transport, installation and maintenance of offshore wind farms. The company's role on the Icebreaker project will be to help develop an installation strategy that leverages existing regional assets such as barges, port infrastructure and local manufacturing companies. The strategy will also consider future offshore wind projects both in Lake Erie and throughout the Great Lakes.
‘Offshore wind in Lake Erie is a tremendous economic and environmental opportunity, and the long-term market outlook for northeast Ohio is very strong," says Rolf Normann, CEO of Fred. Olsen Windcarrier. "There is an abundant, untapped renewable resource, a wealth of existing infrastructure, and a need for new sources of electricity generation as Ohio's coal plants begin to retire. We see the Icebreaker project as the key to catalyzing this new industry for the region, and we're excited to be a part of it."
Fred. Olsen Windcarrier plans to use the Cleveland-based demonstration project as a central part of its strategy to expand operations further into the U.S. Earlier this year, the company was selected as the installation contractor for Deepwater Wind's 30 MW Block Island wind demo offshore Rhode Island.
"Fred. Olsen Windcarrier is the gold standard when it comes to offshore wind installation, and we are proud to have them join our team," says Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo.Â "Helping international offshore wind companies establish a presence in Northeast Ohio is one of the ways we can create local jobs as we build the industry here."