$40 million worth of federal funds was awarded to an organization to support wind energy on Lake Erie.
The Department of Energy has awarded Lake Erie Energy Development Co. with the funds to construct wind turbines on Lake Erie, which is expected to bring an economic benefit to Erie County.
“We are all talking about how can we move towards renewable resources and how can we improve our air quality as we move forward with our increasing energy needs — wind energy is one of those ways,” Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said.
Six turbines will be built 8 to 10 miles northwest of Cleveland. Though Erie County will not see the energy created by the turbines, it is expected to create other economical benefits.
“We have the abilities with the port with ship building to develop and build these windmills in the lake,” said Tom Fuhrman, president of the Lake Erie Region Conservancy.
However, some say more research should be done on the effect of these turbines on the bird populations that use Lake Erie to migrate.
“There is not a lot of research done on the effect of the bird population we are right on the Atlantic flyway here on the edge of it and birds are migrating through in the fall and in the spring,” said Michele Rundquist-Franz, president of the Presque Isle Audubon Society.
This project is still two years away from completion.
All six wind turbines are anticipated to be up by 2018.
Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper is optimistic that wind power to Lake Erie will bring more manufacturing jobs to the region.