Kent State University
This innovation consists of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation teaming up with Fred. Olson Renewables to implement the Icebreaker Wind turbine. This is a 6 turbine, 20.7 megawatt offshore wind demonstration project 8 miles from downtown Cleveland, Ohio in Lake Erie. It is the first freshwater offshore wind project in North America. The project hopes to aid in cleansing the air and water resources, create jobs and economic prosperity in the region, and create a scalable renewable energy source in Lake Erie.
At the start of our interview with the Lake Erie Development Corporation, we were highly interested in the mission of this company. Our interviewee, Beth, described their mission and the inspiration for it as "to create clean energy that could be used to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and create jobs for the local and regional economy." Therefore, their inspiration for the innovation is to help lessen our dependence on fossil fuels by creating a clean, renewable energy source while also creating jobs for the local region in the process.
The overall impact of the innovation is creating the Icebreaker Wind project that will be completed by 2020 will catalyze future offshore wind projects throughout the Great Lakes that will create thousands of jobs and help to clean the air and our waters. It will also impact the world by lessening our carbon footprint which will help to impact our problem with climate changes. Long-term effects of this project include the reduction of the emission of greenhouse gases into the air, which will create a huge impact on the cleansing of the air. Some short-term effects of this innovation include making Ohio and the Midwest a leader in the U.S. wind energy manufacturing sector and supply chain. Also, making Ohio the first state in the Great Lakes Region to capture the economic and environmental benefits of offshore winds. And, according to Beth, "there is minimal impact to animals such as birds and bats due to being so far from the short compare to onshore wind turbines." This is a great fact to factor into the benefits of using offshore wind turbines rather than onshore turbines.
This innovation benefits the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation in multiple ways. By funding and creating this project, they gain the reputation of a "responsible corporate citizen." They also will be creating thousands of jobs which will attract people to that area and make them want to work for them, making it easy for them to find people to hire for their labor force. And, because the project is so beneficial to the economy as well as to the climate problems we face, the business will have no problem in finding support.
The project shows that Lake Erie Energy Development Co. is a responsible corporate citizen by having the mission to better the world through renewable energy. Wind energy is highest in energy efficiency and conservation, as well as it is high in renewables that are property cited and high in environmental protections (solar winds, hydro, biomass), and it also helps to lower air pollution and climate changes. This effort positively impacts the environment by creating clean energy which is an effort that also helps to clean the air and boost sustainability in the economy.
Beth Nagusky, Director of Sustainable Development
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Cleveland, OH, US
Business Website: http://www.leedco.org/
Year Founded: 2009
Number of Employees: 201 to 500