Despite efforts the LEEDCo board announced a temporarily pause to the Icebreaker Wind project.
The nearly 15-year effort to bring the first freshwater offshore wind farm in North America to Cleveland has been officially “paused” by the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp. (LEEDCo) board of directors.
The board cited “years of delays and obstacles” as the reason, according to a statement issued Friday, Dec. 8.
In 2009, LEEDCo’s Icebreaker Wind project set out to construct six turbines about 8 miles off the coastline of downtown Cleveland as part of a pilot program that would have made it the country’s first freshwater wind farm.
LEEDCo board member Will Friedman, president of the Port of Cleveland, said in a statement that he is disappointed about the suspension of the project, adding the project permits are still active and he hopes it will get back on track in the future.
“This pause is necessitated by a confluence of adverse circumstances and numerous delays resulting in a financial climate where the project’s commercial viability is in question,” he said.
Friedman said LEEDCo’s board is open to the possibility of other developer-owners taking over the project.
As part of the pause, a U.S. Department of Energy’s Office (DOE) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy grant of $50 million will be remitted, as LEEDCo is unable to meet the development milestones.