The non-profit Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) and General Electric (GE) have come together and announced at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual WINDPOWER Conference in Dallasthe the development of a wind farm off the shores of Ohio near Cleveland. The project is said to be the first freshwater offshore wind farm in the US.

Under the new partnership, GE will provide direct-drive wind turbines to LEEDCo’s 20 megawatt offshore wind project in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie. The 20 MW project is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and it will be followed by other projects with a long-term goal of 1,000 MW of wind power in the Ohio waters of Lake Erie by 2020.

“Ohio’s greatest potential for creating wind energy is offshore in Lake Erie, and this partnership marks a significant step forward. 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.” said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.

Due to the GE’s next generation wind turbine, this project could be a success. The company has made a 4-megawatt machine designed specifically for offshore deployment. The turbine will incorporate GE’s innovative advanced load controls and aeroelastically tailored blade technology. As the largest wind turbine in GE’s fleet, it will feature direct-drive technology gained through GE’s acquisition of ScanWind.

These two companies will also work together to accelerate the growth of America’s offshore wind industry and to increase support for offshore wind energy.

[Source: MarketWatch]

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