Today, Governor Strickland announced a partnership with General Electric and the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation to develop the first fresh water offshore wind farm in North American.  Gov. Strickland made the announcement at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual WINDPOWER Conference in Dallas:

Ohio’s greatest potential for creating wind energy is offshore in Lake Erie, and this partnership marks a significant step forward,? Strickland said.  ?In Ohio, we have all the right assets to make offshore wind energy successful, including an innovative workforce and the manufacturing strengths that would allow us to build all the component parts for wind turbines. This partnership will not only advance offshore wind technologies, it will also advance Ohio?s economy. We are eager to continue the state?s strong collaboration with GE and LEEDCo as we pursue this exciting, first-of-its-kind initiative for Lake Erie.?

Under the partnership agreement, GE is committed to providing offshore wind turbines for an initial 20-megawatt wind farm with a targeted finished construction date of late 2012.  The plan calls for the development of subsequent projects with a long-term goal of having a wind farm capable of generating 1,000 megawatts by 2020.

?Offshore wind has the potential to create thousands of new jobs in Ohio and become a major source of economic growth.  Working with LEEDCo we have made significant progress to make offshore wind in Lake Erie a reality,? said Vic Abate, Vice President of GE?s Renewable Energy business, and also President of AWEA?s Board of Directors. ?We look forward to installing our next generation offshore, direct drive wind technology in Lake Erie.  GE is committed to working with LEEDCo to achieve its vision of creating an offshore wind sector in Northern Ohio and the Great Lakes region.?

?LEEDCo is pleased to be working with GE and we value the equipment efficiency, product innovation, and commercial acumen they bring to the partnership,? said Dr. Lorry Wagner, President of LEEDCo. ?Together, we aim to develop a cost-effective approach for installing and maintaining offshore wind turbines with the highest possible availability. We are confident that as the GE product line develops and our methodologies mature, the combination will promote a self-sustaining and growing market for offshore wind, in Lake Erie and the Great Lakes ? providing economic opportunity and emissions-free energy for Northern Ohio.?

Neat.

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