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Avon Lake council supports wind project


AVON LAKE — City Council approved a resolution Monday supporting a wind energy project off the coast of Cleveland.

City Council also changed a portion of the Planning and Zoning Code which removes limitations on wind energy system capacities.

The city first submitted in 2013 a resolution in support of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation’s “Icebreaker,” a project to build six wind turbines seven miles off the Cleveland coast.

City Council had to tweak its 2013 resolution as the project has developed, at-large Councilman John Shondel, who chairs the Environmental Committee, said. Icebreaker had originally been slated for completion this year, Shondel said, but now is slated for an October 2019 completion.

Councilwoman Jennifer Fenderbosch, 2nd Ward, said LEEDCo has secured $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy and is finalizing plans with the Ohio Power Siting Board to receive a $40 million investment from the federal government.

Last month the board kicked back LEEDCo’s request to certify construction, the Plain Dealer reported, and asked the nonprofit for more information about the project’s impact on birds, bats and fisheries. LEEDCo officials were reported as saying they intend to file new documents in the coming weeks that they expect will lead to board approval.

Fenderbosch said LEEDCo also must supply the board with updated documentation from cities that support the project, which is why Avon Lake revisited the 2013 resolution.

Shondel said the Planning and Zoning Code changes were made because previous legislation set a limit that systems could not have capacities of more than 1.5 megawatts, which would have needed amending once Icebreaker moves forward.

Icebreaker will create more than 500 jobs, according to Avon Lake’s updated resolution, and lead to an industry that employs 8,000 by 2030.

Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or Follow him on Twitter @JonWysochanski.

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