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Signing 'Power Pledge' Could Help Bring Wind Turbines to Lake Erie

Cleveland-area project could win $48 million for off-shore wind turbines.

Power Pledge Facebook
Power Pledge Facebook

Are you willing to pay a little more to ensure the energy you’re using is green?

Avon Lake Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch is spearheading an effort as one of the Lorain County representatives to the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force to get as many people as possible in the area to sign a non-binding “power pledge” to help LEEDCo earn money to build six wind turbines approximately 7 miles off the city’s shoreline.

Residents can sign the Power Pledge, which could help land the Cleveland area $48 million for off-shore turbines, at 7p.m. June 24 the Avon Lake Public Library’s Gallery Room.

The Ice Breaker wind turbine project by LEEDCo located in Lake Erie off the shoreline of downtown Cleveland is one of the top six wind turbine projects in the USA.

LEEDCo (Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation) is a regional non-profit and economic development organization building an offshore wind energy industry in Ohio.

For being one of the top six projects, LEEDCo was awarded $4 million in 2012, Fenderbosch said. The project has until Dec. 31, 2013 to accomplish a list of goals set by the Federal Government to qualify as one of the top three wind turbine projects in the USA. If it meets the challenge, then the Ice Breaker project will receive $48 million to build the project. It would start generating electricity by 2017.

Fenderbosch is hoping residents of Avon Lake, a NOPEC community, will take part in the grass roots effort by signing the Power Pledge at 7 p.m. on June 24 at the Avon Lake Public Library’s month on your electric bill.

“By signing the Power Pledge, you will signify that you are one of the first to use wind to power your home,” Fenderbosch said. 

This is the first Power Pledge Signing Event in Lorain County. LEEDCo covers a five-county area.

“The turbines off the coast of Cleveland would barely be visible on a clear day,” she said of the massive structures. “The first one will be 7 miles out. The second would be out further. This project has been going on a long time.”

 The turbines, if constructed, would begin two miles beyond the Cleveland water crib.

 “The placement would not upset fisherman, migrating birds or shipping lanes,” she said. “In fact it will probably attract fish (by creating an artificial reef).”

“We need to demonstrate (residents) are interested in purchasing Lake Erie wind,” Fenderbosch said. “They will pay a little more for that. If they do, they decide how much. They could add an extra dollar, $5, $10 to their electric bill. The Power Pledge is not a contract, though, it is simply a demonstration of interest.”

Fenderbosch said if the project goes through, those in Avon Lake and Northeast Ohio can be the first people in North America to buy Lake Erie generated wind.

Wind power would be added as an additional power generation source to the current electrical grid.

The pledge shows area residents are interested in wind power and green power. The pledges will be kept by LEEDco and turned in with the packet in hopes to secure the $48 million. 

Support from council           

Fenderbosch is hoping Avon Lake City Council members will pass a resolution before June 24 saying they are in favor of offering residents option of wind power to individual homeowners.

Many Avon Lake residents are members of NOPEC, the energy consortium. NOPEC now in discussion with LEEDco but would like to see how many area residents are in support of wind power.

“They’ll use (the Power Pledge) to gauge interest in Avon Lake,” Fenderbosch said. 

Eric Loescher June 25, 2013 at 12:09 AM
I for one would like to sign the pledge. Did any of the negative bloggers here think about job creation through maintenance and service this project will bring? Nuclear power seems clean, until you have to deal with the hazardous nuclear waste byproducts. Burning fossil fuels can't honestly be thought if as better for the bird population than wind power, seriously? Power will always come at a price in our lifetime. Minimizing the environmental impact cost is always a plus in my book. Thank you Jennifer for your efforts. Kathleen, why so bitter? You used to be such a bright positive light for progressive change in our community?
Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm June 25, 2013 at 03:00 PM
all batteries require electricity that comes from coal..yep
Terska June 29, 2013 at 03:06 PM
Thanks for answering my question Ms. Fenderbosch. I agree with you that wee need a mixture of power sources and that it is unwise to only depend upon coal. Wind power will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Our tax dollars directly and indirectly go to supporting fossil fuels so why not other sources of energy that are cleaner? It's funny that those that hate green and alternative energy think that fossil fuels operate without tax subsidies. I believe the figure is about $80 billion per year not counting the military budget that goes to protecting fossil fuel markets.
Paul Metz June 29, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Tax subsidies in any form for any kind of power is an outrage. If users want to pay directly through rate increases for the priveledge of green, so be it. I resent that my tax dollars will be awarded to Cleveland for something that has no economic value. Not one power station has been been replaced by wind power anywhere in the world. If wind is so great, why not?
Kathleen O'Brien Wilhelm June 30, 2013 at 08:04 PM
Let's start with the windmill located in the Sheffield Lake shopping center--dumb. Let's move to the city of Avon Lake who won't put up towers for cable and now wants these monstrosities in their backyard dumber. Now, let's understand that these windmills provide 30 percent power and the rest noise, dead birds and need a back up plan--dumbest for a city to invest. Please community think this through; expensive and a lark.

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