Obama Administration Hosts Great Lakes Offshore Wind Workshop in Chicago with Great Lakes Wind Collaborative

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 10/28/2010 - 10:55.


I just received an after-the-fact announcement from President Obama's U.S. Department of Energy that Obama Administration Hosts Great Lakes Offshore Wind Workshop in Chicago with Great Lakes Wind Collaborative, reporting on "a workshop with the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative in Chicago on October 26 – 27, 2010, focused on the siting of offshore wind power in the Great Lakes. The two day workshop brought together wind developers, Federal and state regulators, environmental advocates, and other regional stakeholders to discuss methods for ensuring greater clarity, certainty and coordination of Federal and state decision-making for offshore wind development in the Great Lakes."

Yet, on September 14, 2010, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported Bechtel among developers selected for building a Lake Erie wind farm off Cleveland's coast, stating:

The company that built Hoover Dam, the tunnel under the English Channel and 23,000 other gargantuan projects around the world is going to build the first wind turbines in Lake Erie. Bechtel Development Co. of San Francisco is one of three companies chosen to construct and own the five-turbine demonstration project about 7 miles off shore at an estimated cost of $100 million.

Small by wind farm standards, the five-turbine cluster has been proposed as the precursor to erecting thousands of turbines in the lake -- and jump-starting an entire industry in Northeast Ohio.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason, who has chaired the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force for more than four years, agreed that the idea has always been jobs, not electricity, at least not at this point.

"Our vision has Ohio becoming the major hub for this industry, just as Houston became the center for the offshore oil industry as a result of its pioneering work in the Gulf of Mexico," he said.

"I can't emphasize more the significance of how big this announcement is to this region and all of Ohio," Mason said, calling the day "historic" in its significance.

Anyone who has bothered to venture outside Ohio knows there are 1,000s of wind turbines now in America - this is a mature industry - wind on water is common in the Atlantic - and you see turbine parts being trucked down every major highway to new sites. "Ohio becoming the major hub for this industry" would seem to be wishful thinking - wind turbines are not new to offshore development, and not new to America as of the Obama administration. America burning more coal now - and building more coal burning capacity, now - than under President Bush... that is new.

Clevelanders all know we are at the center of Obama's expanding coal polluting, as we live with the cancer, asthma and death as a result. So what gives with bringing Cleveland some relief with wind power... do we get to be #1 Mr. President, or has that economic development prize been promised to a more important state for you?

From earlier PD coverage of the Cleveland wind development efforts - 5 turbines in the works for wind power project in Lake Erie:

A local nonprofit development group racing to erect the first offshore wind turbine in the Great Lakes has reached an agreement with General Electric Co. to supply five turbines for a $100 million demonstration project in Lake Erie.

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., known as LEEDCo, and Gov. Ted Strickland are to announce the deal in Dallas today during the annual conference of the American Wind Energy Association.

The plan is to have the turbines generating power at the end of 2012, said LEEDCo president Lorry Wagner.

"This is not just about making power, it's about creating jobs," Wagner said in an interview.

If the turbines are running by then, northern Ohio will have a chance to become the hub of an offshore wind power industry, LEEDCo and Lake Erie Energy Task Force officials say.

Both GE and LEEDCo see the project as the first step in standardizing and lowering the cost of building very large wind turbines in the Great Lakes.

Financing has to be worked out, but state and federal tax credits and possibly loans or grants would be needed.

The turbines would account for about half the project's costs. The rest would be in the purchase of the towers, foundations on the lake bottom, an underwater power line to the shore and engineering expenses.

LEEDCo is interviewing finalists for project developer this week and expects to select one within a month. Several of the contractors have global experience.

The project is step one of a 10-year plan to build more than 200 turbines in the lake by 2020, generating a total 1,000 megawatts.

GE open to putting plant near site

"Our hope would be after the demonstration project that GE finds it desirable to manufacture here," Strickland said in an interview.

GE has agreed to give "strong consideration" to building an assembly facility in the region if there are enough orders. A company official did not say exactly how many orders the company would need but noted that offshore turbines are so large -- much larger than typical land-based turbines -- that they must be built close to where they will be installed.

So what gives with Strickland and Mason's plans for a big offshore wind farm project on Lake Erie, versus the statement by the U.S. Department of Energy that "We must improve and increase the lines of communication to bring wind development in the Great Lakes closer to fruition"?

To me, an article in the PD announcing a $100 million wind project for Cleveland is supposed to be real fruit. Is it not real?!?!

The Plain Dealer, Cleveland industrialists and County Prosecutor Bill Mason have led Cleveland citizens to believe Cleveland has already moved to the center of the Great Lakes wind industry, having dedicated $millions of taxpayer funds and years of community attention to planning a breakthrough industrial development for here, and contracting Bechtel to build (5) 4MW wind turbines north of Cleveland, on Lake Erie... that being the outcome of five years of positioning by the powers who be here in NEO and Ohio.

Now we learn Obama may have a different mission for wind on the great lakes, with a group called the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative, in Ann Arbor, Michigan - again quoting Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality: "We must improve and increase the lines of communication to bring wind development in the Great Lakes closer to fruition."

If Ohio is spending $100 million on wind in Lake Erie RIGHT NOW, I would expect that to be acknowledged by Obama in this media release about Federal Great Lakes wind strategy, NOW. What gives?

The U.S. Department of Energy reports:

"As a result of this workshop, we now have a clear understanding of the barriers and opportunities for wind development in the Great Lakes. We now have a path for moving forward that brings clarity and certainty to the process and that will benefit states, developers and the public," said Terry Yonker, co-chair of the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative.

So, Obama, what is the "path for moving forward that brings clarity and certainty to the process and that will benefit states, developers and the public", including in Ohio? If you now have clarity on that, you should make it public... tell us the truth, when you are here in Cleveland this weekend.

In Cleveland, citizens expect the Great Lakes wind industry to be based HERE, built HERE, and rooted HERE. Is it actually based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and meeting in Chicago, Illinois... and how were Cleveland citizens led so far astray? Is all this just politics, and Ohio will lose with Strickland?

Is all this just political gamesmanship for chosen audiences - as trite and unreal as the statement "President Obama has made an unprecedented commitment to renewable energy development in the United States" when the president seems most committed to burning coal?

Hard to hide a $100 million wind turbine development, or lack thereof, so I guess citizens will learn the truth eventually.

I'd prefer to know before casting my ballot November 2nd, 2010.

WindTurbines.JPG94.39 KB

Windy Shores

Wind power should be welcomed all across the north shore.  The additional power will be a good supliment to the likely increase in electrical demand.  Of course the demand increase in Power will arrive as soon as the group of idiots running the county shove-off.  Wind capacity factors haver increased since the Late 90's.  Todays turbine have about a 30% capacity factor (measure of generated power vs. potential power).  See American Wind Energy Assoc.: http://www.awea.org/faq/wwt_basics.html for more statistic on Wind power.  Wind turbines also have about a 98% availability, which means they are extremely reliable when called upon to generate electricity.  As long as there's enough wind to turn the rotor, these things will generate small amounts of power which can be loaded into the massive electrical grid.

  (I did it right the second time)

NameLocationPower Capacity (MW)UnitsTurbine Mfr.DeveloperOwnerPower PurchaserYear Online
Stony Creek   52.5 35 GE Energy E.On Climate and Renewables E.On Climate and Renewables   2009
Highland Wind Project   62.5 25 Nordex EverPower Renewables EverPower Renewables   2009
Humboldt Industrial Park Hazleton 0.13 2   Energy Unlimited Pennsylvania Wind Energy Community Energy 1999
Waymart Wind Farm Wayne County 64.5 43 GE Energy Atlantic Renewable Energy FPL Energy Exelon 2003
Mill Run Wind Power Project Mill Run 15 10 GE Energy Atlantic Renewable Energy FPL Energy Exelon 2001
Somerset Wind Power Project Somerset County 9 6 GE Energy Atlantic Renewable Energy FPL Energy Exelon 2001
Casselman Wind Project Somerset County 34.5 23 GE Energy PPM Energy Iberdrola Renewables First Energy Corp. 2007
Allegheny Ridge wind farm Cambria and Blair Counties 80 40 Gamesa Gamesa Babcock & Brown First Energy Corp. 2007
North Allegheny   70 35 Gamesa Duke Energy Duke Energy First Energy Solutions 2009
Meyersdale Somerset County 30 20 NEG Micon Atlantic Renewable Energy FPL Energy FirstEnergy 2003

Nice table - so PA wind is largely (all?) pre-Obama

Nice table - so PA wind was largely (all?) planned pre-Obama

Any data on cost per MW for construction and percentage operations and maintenance cost per MWh?

What about for Ohio? How much wind do we have today - when was it planned and built - what is planned statewide?

And the big question is whether Cleveland's Lake Erie plans are real or not, and who has got the money?

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Man I screwed that post up.

OOPS.  Pasted to many times.  The charts show the amount of wind generation projects in PA and Utilities that utilize that power for their customers.

Table format issue

No big deal - I took out the table format - it is still readable.

Sometimes the HTML code for the posting takes over the css for the page

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Thanks Norm

The only editing I do is fix HTML that blows up our CSS

The only editing I do is fix HTML that blows up our CSS.

Tables are always tough - I usually take a screenshot of them and make a .jpg rather than try to insert them as HTML.

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Did Obama bring $100 million to Cleveland for our turbines?

Did Obama bring $100 million to Cleveland for our turbines?

Did he explain what clarity came from Chicago on Great Lakes Wind and how that will effect our economy?

Did he get rid of Mason? DiMora?

Did he explain what he will do about our pollution and high mortality rates from that, as Illinois and Arkansas (how profitable for corrupt industrialists in Obama and Clinton's home states) add DIRTY coal-burning capacity upwind from Cleveland?

Did he explain how he shall undo the harm caused by our collupt local democratic leadership?

Or did he just say "trust me some more"?

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