LEEDCo Moves Ahead With Quest To Design U.S.-Made Offshore Turbine Foundation


The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) has announced it is leading an international engineering team to design an offshore wind turbine foundation optimized for fabrication in the U.S.

The company says the design will catalyze domestic manufacturing growth by removing barriers to entry faced by U.S.-based steel fabricators that want to supply foundations for the offshore wind industry.

LEEDCo developed the conceptual design of the foundation system last year through a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) competition. A new DOE award of $2.8 million was finalized today to complete the detailed engineering.

‘This will be the first monopile foundation designed from the ground up to be built by American companies and installed in American waters,’ says Lorry Wagner, president of LEEDCo.

The foundation design will be used first for LEEDCo's 18 MW Project Icebreaker, a six-turbine offshore wind demonstration project planned for the Ohio waters of Lake Erie. The design team will collaborate closely with Fred. Olsen Windcarrier.

LEEDCo has partnered with GLWN, a wind industry supply chain advisor, to engage local and regional fabricators. The developer chose Cleveland-based American Tank & Fabricating as a partner to represent U.S. fabricators during the design process.

LEEDCo will work with several other project partners, as well. A team at Case Western Reserve University will conduct laboratory testing to validate the design; U.K.-based Offshore Design Engineering will lead the detailed engineering of the foundation; the New Hampshire-based Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory will characterize ice formations in Lake Erie to inform the loads analysis; and Washington-based Sound and Sea Technology will perform geophysical and geotechnical analysis.

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