Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
As Electrek reported, last week Ohio unanimously approved the Icebreaker wind farm, North America’s first offshore freshwater project planned for Lake Erie near Cleveland. However, there’s a rather large hitch that could put an end to the entire project.
At the very last minute, the Ohio Power Siting Board ruled on Thursday that the project could move forward only if blades on its turbines are turned off every night between March and October. Ohio’s sitting board made the controversial decision to protect birds and bats due to it being located in an “Important Bird and Biodiversity Area.”
Why This Matters: There are precautions that can be taken to protect birds from wind turbines. But it’s also no coincidence that Ohio Power Siting Board chairman Sam Randazzo has been notoriously anti-renewable energy (and anti-wind especially), characterizing it as unreliable and government mandates as a waste of money.
The Icebreaker project has been endorsed by leading environmental groups and has earned the approval of the Ohio EPA. If state regulators are truly worried about birds then they’re being mum about the fact that climate change is their greatest threat. Ohio derives over 60% of its energy from fossil fuels and is among the top 10 states in total energy consumption yet has immense resource potential for clean wind energy.
Stamps of Approval:David P. Karpinksi, the CEO of project developer LEEDCo. expressed in a public statement that Icebreaker has already had extensive environmental impact analyses and has gotten the stamp of approval from green groups as well as state regulators:
The U.S. Department of Energy ruled — after an intensive two-year study — that Icebreaker will have no significant impact on the environment.
Icebreaker has been endorsed by environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Ohio Environmental Council.
Icebreaker has earned approvals from regulatory agencies including the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The project had been thoroughly reviewed for many years under the strictest of environmental regulations and reviews by 13 local, state and federal agencies.
Offshore Wind in Ohio: As E&E News explained, Ohio’s offshore wind industry has been strangled by some of the most restrictive turbine-siting rules anywhere in the United States.
There’s currently 738 megawatts of installed wind capacity in Ohio, according to the American Wind Energy Association. That’s about a third of what’s operating in neighboring states such as Indiana and Michigan, and less than 20% of the wind energy capacity in Illinois.
Despite this, the gap is widening. Several thousand megawatts of Ohio wind projects in the queue but their chances of getting approved by state regulators look slim.
We spoke this week with Brandon Hurlbut, who helped to organize thousands of clean energy supporters to work to elect Joe Biden President. He is also an expert on energy policy, politics, and finance. He co-hosts the popular podcast Political Climate, with Friend of the Planet, Julia Pyper. And he was the Chief of Staff […]
by Miro Korenha and Natasha Lasky Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company, recently announced that all of its planes will be capable and certified to fly on 100% sustainable aviation fuels by 2030. The move was a response to mounting pressure felt by the aviation industry to reduce emissions and as Boeing explained in a […]
According to a new study by the energy analysts at Wood Mackenzie, the cost of solar power is expected to decrease another 15%-25% over the next decade due to developing technologies already in the pipeline, which could make it the lowest-cost power source in the U.S. by 2030. Solar is poised for both U.S. and […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.