Ohio board drops one Icebreaker wind project app; readies for another

The Ohio Power Siting Board on Oct. 25 agreed to drop a February 2014 application from Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) for a certificate of environmental compatibility and public need for Project Icebreaker, an offshore wind facility in Lake Erie off of Cleveland.

That version of Project Icebreaker was a demonstration-scale project to consist of six wind turbine generators installed approximately seven to nine miles off the coast of Cleveland. On Sept. 13, LEEDCo filed a request to withdraw its application for Project Icebreaker. LEEDCo advised that it would be filing a notice to the board of its intent to file a new application in the fourth quarter of 2016, which will replace and supersede the application filed in this case. 

In a related development, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) were taking public input until Oct. 21 on the scope of an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the new version of Project Icebreaker. DOE is proposing to authorize the expenditure of federal funding to design, permit, construct, and decommission the project. 

This new Project Icebreaker would be an approximately 21-MW offshore wind facility consisting of:

  • Six wind turbines;
  • Five submarine cables including a fiber optic communications cable interconnecting the turbines (inter-array cables), in total approximately 2.8 miles;
  • One 9-mile-long submarine cable, including a fiber optic communications cable (export cable) connecting the demonstration project to the new Project Substation located at the existing Cleveland Public Power (CPP) Lake Road Substation in Cleveland, Ohio;
  • Installation of equipment including a Project Substation at the CPP Lake Road Substation to accept power from the project; and
  • Approximately 150 feet of new pole supported overhead transmission line to transmit electricity from the new project substation to the existing CPP Lake Road Substation.

Project Icebreaker would consist of six Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Vestas Offshore Wind (MVOW) – Vestas 3.45 MW wind turbines. Each wind turbine consists of three major components: the tower; the nacelle; and the rotor with blades. Preliminary analysis indicates that the turbines would operate for approximately 8,000 hours annually, and have an approximate capacity factor of 43%. Project Icebreaker would generate approximately 77,400 MWh of electricity each year.

Fred. Olsen Renewables USA LLC/Icebreaker Windpower Inc. filed a Sept. 13 pre-application notice with the Ohio Power Siting Board regarding this project. Said the Sept. 13 letter: "The Applicant will provide clean renewable energy to Cleveland area electricity consumers and enable the study of offshore wind technology operations in a freshwater environment. The Applicant anticipates filing its application with the Board in the fourth quarter 2016. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2018, resulting in commercial operations in late 2018."

Separately, Lake Erie Energy Development on Sept. 13 told the Ohio board that it is withdrawing its application for a certificate to construct Project Icebreaker, which had been filed in February 2014. It noted that the Fred. Olsen Renewables USA LLC/Icebreaker Windpower application will replace and supersede its prior application.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.