October 5 (Renewables Now) - The 20.7-MW Icebreaker offshore wind project in Lake Erie will not have any significant impact on the environment and migratory birds in particular, the federal government has concluded.
The US Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies have issued on Tuesday a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) after conducting an exhaustive review of the project for over two years, developer Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) said yesterday. The company’s partner in the project, which is the first freshwater offshore wind project in North America, is Fred. Olsen Renewables USA.
The final Environmental Assessment (EA) has concluded that, in view of its small size, the six-turbine wind farm would not pose major threats to any endangered species of critical habitat. “[..] there would be both short and long-term impact but those impacts would be minor. There would be no potential for population-level impacts to any species of bird as a result of the proposed project,” the overview states.
According to the developer, construction of the wind farm, to be located near the coast of Cleveland, could start by 2021. This summer, the project secured conditional approval by the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB) and water quality certificate of approval from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“We are eager now to earn state approval and move forward,” said LEEDCo’s president Lorry Wagner.