CLEVELAND, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) announced today that it has selected a team of three companies to develop an offshore wind farm on Lake Erie, the first project of its kind in North America.
The three partner companies are Bechtel Development Company, Inc. (Bechtel), Cavallo Great Lakes Ohio Wind, LLC (Cavallo) and Great Lakes Wind Energy, LLC (GLWEnergy). The announcement was made by LEEDCo President Dr. Lorry Wagner, who called the developer selection a major step forward in the process of establishing an offshore wind industry which began with a feasibility analysis and study, initiated nearly four years ago. "Our ambitious goals demand a world-class execution team," said Dr. Wagner. "With these three major contributors in place as the developer, we now have the talent and broad range of expertise necessary to start this exciting endeavor."
Bechtel, Cavallo and GLWEnergy have formed Great Lakes Ohio Wind, LLC (GLOW), the company that will own and develop the project. Speaking on behalf of the developer team, GLWEnergy Managing Director Chris Wissemann said, "We are looking forward to collaborating with all partners, and providing our combined expertise to help bring Northeast Ohio an exciting project and significant alternative source of energy."
"This is historic. This is the first fresh water off-shore wind project in North America," said Bill Mason, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor and Chair of Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force, a unit, created by Cuyahoga County, for the purpose of exploring the legal, technical, environmental, economic, and financial aspects of developing and implementing advanced energy technologies in the county. "I believe it will be the catalyst to drive economic development in our region and create the next generation of jobs for our children."
The initial project will be a five-turbine, 20 megawatt (MW) pilot wind farm five to ten miles offshore of Cleveland. Construction on the initial phase is tentatively scheduled to commence in late 2012. By 2020, LEEDCo aims to see 1,000 MW of renewable electricity being generated from lake winds and believes the economies of scale that can be obtained when building such large projects will reduce the cost of that energy to attractive levels.
The selection of the developer follows LEEDCo's May 2010 announcement that General Electric (GE) is the intended supplier of the project's direct-drive offshore wind turbines and maintenance.
"We want Northern Ohio to be the epicenter of a new freshwater offshore wind power industry with associated manufacturing, shipping, and construction jobs," said Dr. Wagner. "Today's milestone will position our region as a model for innovation in clean energy and help spur economic development in Northern Ohio."
About Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo)
Contact – Dr. Lorry Wagner (216) 870-6010
The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) is a regional non-profit corporation that has been leading an effort to deploy offshore wind projects on Lake Erie near Cleveland, Ohio. The organization represents Northern Ohio's public interest in offshore wind, and is responsible for assembling and supporting a world-class team to develop an initial 20 megawatt (MW) offshore wind pilot project in Lake Erie and target 1,000 MW by 2020. LEEDCo was founded in 2009 as a result of the work of the Great Lakes Energy Development Task Force, and with the support from its founding partners, which include: The Cleveland Foundation, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Lorain County and NorTech. www.leedco.org
About Bechtel Development Company, Inc.
Contact – Michelle Allen (301) 228-8946
Bechtel Development Company, Inc., which specializes in project development and finance, is one of the Bechtel group of companies. Bechtel is a global leader in engineering, construction, and project management. Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 23,000 projects in 140 countries and all seven continents. www.bechtel.com
About Cavallo Great Lakes Ohio Wind, LLC
Contact – Jane Rubinstein (212) 843-8287
Cavallo Great Lakes Ohio Wind, LLC is part of Cavallo Energy, a global energy development and asset management company that develops natural gas and alternative generation, energy storage, and electric transmission. Cavallo's management team has more than 150 years of industry experience in every phase of energy development and operations. www.cavalloenergy.com
About Great Lakes Wind Energy, LLC
Contact – Chris Wissemann (330) 474-0992 x302
Great Lakes Wind Energy, LLC is an Ohio-based company formed specifically to develop offshore wind projects in Lake Erie. The GLWEnergy management team draws on strengths in development of energy projects in Ohio, offshore wind, engineering and construction, finance, regulatory affairs, and supply chain development. www.glwenergy.com
SOURCE Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation