Five states in Great Lakes offshore wind deal
The Obama administration and five states have reached an agreement to accelerate approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes.
The Obama administration and five states have reached an agreement to accelerate approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed by cost and environmental concerns.
The initial report from the Associated Press said that state and federal agencies will create a blueprint for speeding regulatory review of proposed wind farms without sacrificing environmental and safety standards. While the Great Lakes have no offshore wind turbines, a Cleveland partnership announced plans last year for a demonstration project that would place five to seven turbines in Lake Erie about seven miles north of the city and generate 20 to 30 megawatts of electricity.
Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania signed the agreement. The other three states with Great Lakes coastlines — Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin — declined invitations but could join the partnership later.
Offshore wind projects have been proposed elsewhere in the region, including Michigan and New York.
On Sept. 27, 2011, New York Power Authority trustees voted to end the competitive solicitation process for the proposed Great Lakes Offshore Wind project, without ever awarding a project development contract. NYPA cited annual project cost estimates and current economic conditions as reasons for the trustees’ decision. Development of the 150 megawatt project would have resulted in an estimated annual subsidy of between $60 million and $100 million, resulting in a significant cost premium to NYPA.
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