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Lake Erie offshore wind project gets federal construction permit

The 20.7-MW Lake Erie Offshore Wind Project (Icebreaker) offshore wind project in Ohio took another step forward after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a construction permit for the project.

Project developer Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., or LEEDCo, announced the permit in a March 25 news release. The project, to be built eight miles off the coast of Cleveland in Lake Erie, would be the first freshwater wind energy installation in North America. LEEDCo is developing the project as part of a partnership with Fred. Olsen Renewables AS of Oslo, Norway.

In October 2018, the U.S. Department of Energy found no significant environmental impacts from the six-turbine facility.

The project cleared other milestones in 2018 when the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency gave its approval and staff of the Ohio Power Siting Board recommended conditional approval for the proposal. The company is awaiting final approval from the siting board, a spokeswoman said.

Construction could start by 2021.